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More certainty for renters under new govt plans

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Longer tenancies are set to be introduced under new plans, which will give renters more security.

Housing secretary James Brokenshire said the government was consulting on a new longer tenancy model of a minimum of three years, with a six month break clause to allow tenants and landlords to exit the agreement early if needed.

He said the government wants to make renting “more secure” as families, vulnerable tenants and older people who rent face the uncertainty of suddenly being forced to move or evicted.

According to government data, people stay in their rented homes for an average of nearly four years. But despite this, 81% of rental contracts are assured short-hold tenancies with a minimum fixed term of just six or 12 months.

Brokenshire said: “It is deeply unfair when renters are forced to uproot their lives or find new schools for their children at short notice due to the terms of their rental contract.

“Being able to call your rental property your home is vital to putting down roots and building stronger communities.

“That’s why I am determined to act, bringing in longer tenancies which will bring benefits to tenants and landlords alike.”

‘Abusive practices in the leasehold market’

The government also announced proposals to tackle “abusive practices” in the leasehold housing market.

Such practices include costs rising without extra services, and unfair terms meaning people are put off from buying new build homes.

Brokenshire said legislation to ban the unjustified use of leaseholds on new homes will be “brought forward at the earliest opportunity”.

And for flats, he said that in the future, ground rents for long leases will be limited to “a peppercorn rate”.

Any new government funding scheme will contain the condition that the money can’t support the unjustified use of leasehold for new houses.

Both proposals apply to England only.