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Ending fixed-term tenancies 'doesn't make sense' says Foxtons

A big lettings agency has questioned why the government is set on pursuing the end to fixed term tenancies, while ignoring the needs of landlords and tenants.

Foxtons’ director of legal and compliance, Manjit Kataora, says the latest Renters (Reform) Bill debate in the House of Lords was notable because of criticisms about the absence of provisions enabling lengthier fixed term tenancies where landlords and tenants both want one.

Their abolition was never a manifesto commitment, says Kataora. “It is entirely understandable for the House of Lords to call out a feature of the bill that neither reflects a party pledge, and ignores what landlords and tenants need from each other in the real world.”


Advocates of the abolition of longer fixed terms will counter-argue that the Commons has already inserted a concession under which a tenant’s notice cannot be served before month four of a tenancy and cannot end before month six, he adds.

While this creates a de-facto fixed term, it does not explain why, if a six-month term is allowed, a 12-month term should not also be available where the parties both want one.

"Lengthier fixed terms would give tenants peace of mind"

“One of the key intentions of the bill is to ensure security of tenure for tenants. But is it really the case that, in a competitive market, tenants are no more likely to leave a well-managed letting in a post-rental reform world than they are now, merely because the law allows them to?” asks Kataora.

“Why not allow both sides to have the assurance of a longer fixed term if they both want to. Lengthier fixed terms would give tenants peace of mind because they can be certain about where they can live for a defined length of time.

"Landlords too, would have the security of knowing that they have an income stream for a known period. Both elements are necessary for a healthy, functioning rental sector.”

Picture credit: Clearway Law.

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