New family friendly tenancies
Under the new measures, a model tenancy agreement will be developed, which will set out the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, and act as a benchmark for written tenancy agreements. Included in this model agreement will be ways in which families can benefit from longer tenancies.
Commenting on the measures, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said, “The private rented market is a vital asset to this country, and plays an important role providing flexible accommodation for those who do not want to buy, or are saving up for a deposit.
“The last thing we want to do is hurt hard-working tenants by increasing costs and strangling the sector with red tape. But families deserve stability for their children, and all tenants deserve a good and transparent service from their landlords and lettings agents.
“Today’s proposals will raise the quality and choice of rental accommodation, root out the cowboys and rogue operators in the sector, and give tenants the confidence to request longer fixed-term, family-friendly tenancies that meet their needs.”
The government has said it would expect any model tenancy agreement to provide an initial probation period for both parties to ensure they are content to enter into a longer agreement with each other (as put forward by the Residential Landlords Association). And that any agreement should include break clauses, so that landlords and tenants will be able to end the tenancy early, for example if the landlord wishes to sell the property.
John Barker, Fenn Wright’s Residential Lettings Manager in Chelmsford, says: “This proposal could provide further stability to the rental sector, if the new measures come into effect. Both landlords and tenants may benefit from greater financial certainty.
“From a tenant’s perspective, longer fixed-term agreements with rent reviews index linked to inflation, could help families put down roots and confidently settle their children in schools and friendship groups. And landlords who are looking to long term investments, could see their costs reduced with fewer periods of vacancy between lettings and a less frequent need to find new tenants”.
He added: “Should the DCLG be successful at putting their plans in action, this proposal may also increase growth and confidence in the housing market, with investors being more interested in 3 to 4 bedroom family homes than they may have been before.”
“As yet the DCLG are yet to publish a timetable for changes but we will be keeping an eye on developments.”
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