Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shelter calls for 5 year stable rental contracts

A new report from Shelter is calling for the introduction of a new Stable Rental Contract to provide greater stability to the growing numbers of people who rent their homes from private landlords

The Stable Rental Contract would include:

  • five year tenancies, giving renters the chance to put down roots
  • rent increases in line with inflation each year, giving landlords predictable incomes and renters predictable outgoings
  • giving landlords confidence they can easily evict genuinely bad tenants
  • allowing landlords to end a tenancy if they sell the property
  • giving renters flexibility, allowing them to give two months notice to leave.

Shelter believe that the new tenancy agreements can be put in place without the need for new legislation.

As well as locking Landlord's out of market rents for five years we're not convinced that lettings of this length will give Landlords the practical remedies which they can currently rely on when things go wrong.

We're often approached by Landlords who have been let down by letting agents who haven't properly checked out incoming tenants and who need our help to sort out problems with rent arrears and damage to their property by regaining possession for them.

Often the most cost effective and practical way to recover possession is not to pursue a contested hearing through the courts based on the tenants breach of the terms of the tenancy agreement but to rely on the Landlord's absolute right to recover possession based on expiry of the tenancy. If Landlords were to grant five year rather than shorter term tenancies then recovering possession in the event of a problem becomes a much more costly, stressful and uncertain procedure for them.