Proposals to give tenants fixed five-year rental agreements that could put buy to let landlords at a disadvantage are under fire.
The suggestion to revamp tenancy agreement laws came from housing charity Shelter, but was met with anger from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), which represents 16,000 landlords across the England and Wales.
Shelter published the proposals recently, and is calling for:
- Fixed term five year tenancy agreements
- Landlords restricted to raising rents in line with inflation during the agreement
- Tenants able to break the agreement with two months’ notice
The RLA claims the policy is unfair to landlords and one-sided in favour of tenants.
Richard Jones, policy director at the RLA, said, “While Shelter continues to suggest that landlords are actively looking for opportunities to throw their tenants out, the reality is that just 9% of tenancies are ended by a landlord, showing that the majority much prefer to keep tenants on than face an empty property.
“With the average length of private tenancies reaching 20 months, it is clear that the current tenancy model already provides for longer term tenancies when they are needed for families.
“While the RLA is now consulting on proposals that would achieve the right balance of rights between the landlord and tenant while maintaining the confidence of mortgage lenders, Shelter’s proposals would not work, not least given that many tenants, especially younger people, such as students or those who are eventually looking to buy a home of their own, seek a short term tenancy.”
The RLA also argues the charity’s proposal to index-link rent increases would work against the best interests of many tenants, who see a below inflation or no increase year-on-year.
“The best way to prevent rents becoming unaffordable is to support the army of smaller scale landlords to invest in much-needed new property,” said Jones. “So far we have heard little from Shelter about how this could be achieved. Their plan for longer term tenancies would result in landlords being no longer willing to invest.”
To find out more about Shelter’s proposals, click here
For information about the RLA’s counter-proposals, click here