Minimum 3 Year Tenancy Term

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In plans published in July 2018, the Secretary of State for Communities James Brokenshire proposed the introduction of a minimum 3-year tenancy term, with a 6-month break clause.

According to government data, people stay in their rented homes for an average of nearly 4 years. However, 81% of rental contracts are assured shorthold tenancies with a minimum fixed term of just 6 or 12 months.This can lead to tenants feeling insecure, unable to challenge poor property standards for fear of tenancies being terminated.Although tenants and landlords can already agree longer terms between themselves, the majority choose not to.

Under the proposed longer term agreement, tenants would be able to leave before the end of the minimum term, but would have greater protection if they wanted to stay in a property for an extended period of time.

James 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.”

A consultation on the plan has been published, specifically looking at overcoming the barriers to landlords offering longer tenancies.The 3-year model is one of a range of options and the consultation seeks views on longer minimum tenancies, which are used in other countries, as well as ideas on how to implement the model agreement.

Sharon Nelson, Director at Turner Scott Lettings added:

“For landlords who want to avoid periods when their property is not being rented, and for tenants that prefer longer term rentals, this is a welcome change to tenancy agreements.”