Longer Tenancies for Renters.

16 July 2018

The Government has set out its latest plans to give renters more protection, with the headline-grabbing proposal being a new standard 3 year tenancy.

Figures reveal that 80% of tenants are currently in a 6 or 12 month tenancy agreement, and the government want to extend this to provide stability and security for tenants. Whilst a Tenant would be able to leave during a tenancy, the Landlord would be tied in for the full duration (as long as the tenant is paying the rent). It is expected that the proposals will have a good deal of cross party support in parliament.

These proposals will no doubt be welcomed by tenants and the groups representing them, but there is concern amongst landlord groups. Iain Blundell, Solicitor in our Litigation department, advises a number of landlord clients and letting agents across the North West and is a regular speaker at Landlord forums. He comments:

“This change comes on the back of a lot of regulatory changes, many of which have already hit landlords hard. There have been recent changes to Stamp Duty, mortgage interest tax relief, ‘wear and tear’ tax allowances, and a proposed compulsory Ombudsman scheme. Further regulations have also amended the formal Notice requirements, introduced a Tenancy Deposit Scheme and increased the requirement to serve certain prescribed documents at the outset of a tenancy. As we represent a number of landlords across the region, it is easy to sympathise with them when so many changes squeeze the sector in such a short time!”

At this stage, these latest changes are merely proposals, and a consultation process will run until late August. It is assumed that there will be more detailed proposals released after that consultation with, for example, exceptions for student accommodation tenancies. We will be watching with interest and engaging with the consultation process on behalf of our landlord clients.

Are you a landlord? Or Letting Agent? Do you need advice about how to deal with the deluge of recent changes? Need advice on problem tenants, tenancy agreements, or property matters?

We can assist with a wide range of Landlord and Tenant enquiries (including commercial tenancy matters where our commercial solicitors in Manchester and Lancashire can help)– please contact our direct on 01254 297130.