Landlords and lenders consulted over longer-term tenancies

The Residential Landlords Association is consulting with landlords over its own proposals for long-term tenancies.

The body has also entered discussions with mortgage lenders as to their concerns.

The consultation is after Shelter proposed a new five-year fixed term tenancy for all tenancies in the private rented sector.

Shelter also wants rent increases linked to inflation, with tenants – but not landlords – able to leave the contract at any point with two months’ notice.

The RLA has produced its own model for consultation, and policy director Richard Jones, said: “Whilst Shelter continues to suggest that landlords are actively looking for opportunities to throw their tenants out altogether, the reality is that just 9% of tenancies are ended by a landlord, showing that the majority much prefer to keep tenants on than face an empty property.

“Moreover, with the average length of private tenancies now reaching 20 months, it is clear that the current tenancy model already provides for longer-term tenancies when they are needed for families.

“The RLA is now consulting on proposals that would achieve the right balance of rights between the landlord and tenant while maintaining the confidence of mortgage lenders.

“Shelter’s proposals would not work, not least given that many tenants, especially younger people, such as students or those who are eventually looking to buy a home of their own, seek a short-term tenancy.

“Shelter’s calls for contracts with index linked rent rises would be bad news for families who are presently seeing average market rents increase by less than inflation, especially outside London.

“The best way to prevent rents becoming unaffordable is to support the army of smaller scale landlords to invest in much-needed new property.

“So far we have heard little from Shelter about how this could be achieved. Their plan for longer term tenancies would result in landlords being no longer willing to invest.”