Please Note: This Article is 4 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

The new Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, has said he supports the idea of offering longer tenancies for tenants.

In response to a question from Conservative MP for Solihull, Julian Knight, in a recent Department for Communities and Local Government debate, Mr Barwell said that he is taking steps to ensure that those tenants looking for longer tenancies can get them.

“My department has developed a model tenancy agreement for use by landlords and tenants in the private rented sector, which encourages longer-term tenancies for those who want them.

“We are working with the sector to actively promote the use of this and to identify any barriers.

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“We have also established a working group, focussed on affordability and security in the private rented sector, which will look at what more we can do to help people who require longer tenancies to get them.”

In October 2013 the Department for Communities and Local Government announced that the Government was to introduce new measures to encourage longer, fixed term, ‘family-friendly’ tenancies in the PRS. This involved providing a model tenancy agreement developed alongside the sector which sets out the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, and “acts as a benchmark for written tenancy agreements.” Included in this model agreement are ways in which families can benefit from longer tenancies.

Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town brought up the issue of redress schemes in relation to landlords of leasehold properties, during the same session.

She asked the DCLG if it plans to extend the requirements 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 replied to the question by stating:

“The Government is not persuaded that more burdensome approaches to regulate landlords would be effective. Leaseholders in dispute with their landlord can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) in England and the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal in Wales to seek redress.

“The Government is extending leaseholders’ access to redress by including provisions in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 that will address an irregularity concerning the inability of courts and tribunals to restrict recovery of a landlord’s legal costs from leaseholders as administrative charges, where they consider a restriction on recovery to be just and equitable. The Government plans to introduce related secondary legislation by summer 2017.”

Please Note: This Article is 4 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.
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