There has been talk about a possible announcement by the government about the introduction of mandatory 3 year residential tenancies i.e. before the consultation is completed on 26 August 2018. This was reported in The Sun newspaper last week. However, in an official response to an enquiry made by the RLA, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government confirmed the same day that no date has been set for an announcement about long term tenancies and that all responses from the consultation will be considered before announcing the next steps.
The speculation about a premature announcement renewed the debate on three-year tenancies. According to online articles, landlords groups have not rejected longer tenancies but don’t feel these should be compulsory. Longer-term tenancies would mean that Section 21 or “no fault” evictions would not be applicable. In cases of breach of tenancy agreement, landlords would need to go through a lengthy, adversarial and expensive legal process using Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. Longer tenancies would therefore increase the letting risk. It has been suggested that financial incentives e.g. tax relief would be a better way of ensuring landlords would offer longer-term tenancies to tenants who want them. The RLA feel that if longer term tenancies are introduced there needs to be reforms to enable landlords to regain possession of their property for instance when a tenant is not paying rent or showing anti-social behaviour. Reforms in their view include the government moving forward with establishing a new housing court. This suggestion is particularly pertinent in the light of the recent analysis by Generation Rent that Section 21 evictions are a significant contribution to homelessness.
Read the source article on three-year tenancies and landlord group responses.