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Longer Tenancies Backed By New Housing Minister

Monday 22 August 2016

The idea of providing longer tenancies for tenants has been backed by the new Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, who says he is taking steps to make available longer-term tenancies to those tenants who want them. 
He said his department has formulated a model tenancy agreement which 'encourages longer-term tenancies' and is now working with the private rented sector to 'actively promote' the scheme and identify potential obstacles.
A working group, set up to look at affordability and security in the sector, will concentrate on what the Government can do to provide longer tenancies for the tenants who want them. 
The move can be traced back to an announcement made by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in October 2013 for the introduction of 'new measures' to encourage longer, fixed term tenancies that were 'family friendly.'
The model tenancy agreement sets out the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords and 'acts as a benchmark for written tenancy agreements.'
It also lists the various ways in which families would benefit from longer agreements. 
Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town asked if the DLCG planned to expand the powers of the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 and the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 to require landlords of leasehold properties to belong to a redress scheme. 
Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth responded by saying the Government is 'not persuaded' that more regulation of the BTL industry landlords would be 'effective'. 
The Government aims to introduce related secondary legislation by summer 2017.
A recent report showed that the average tenancy agreement for residential property in England stands at just 18 months - suggesting that tenants are taking a shorter-term approach to renting.
It also revealed that landlords’ average annual void periods currently stand at 22 days.

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