Extra protection for tenants proposed to help them put down roots

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Longer tenancies will be introduced under Government proposals to give renters more security.

A mandatory minimum three-year contract is being consulted on that would stop landlords forcing tenants out at short notice.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said the move would allow renters to put down roots and give property owners more financial security.

Renters stay in a home for an average of four years but eight in 10 contracts are for a minimum of six or 12 months.

Under the proposals, tenants would be able to leave before three years but would have greater protection if they wanted to stay put.

The consultation will look at whether there should be exemptions for student accommodation and other types of tenant.

Mr Brokenshire said: “It is deeply unfair when renters are forced to uproot their lives or find new schools for their children at short notice due to the terms of their rental contract.

“Being able to call your rental property your home is vital to putting down roots and building stronger communities.

“That’s why I am determined to act, bringing in longer tenancies which will bring benefits to tenants and landlords alike.”

Shadow housing secretary John Healey said: “Any fresh help for renters is welcome but this latest promise is meaningless if landlords can still force tenants out by hiking up the rent.

“That’s why Labour’s new rights for renters includes controls on rents as well as an end to no-fault evictions and protection against substandard rented homes.”

Polly Neate, chief executive of charity Shelter, said: “Losing a tenancy is the main driver of homelessness and also causes huge instability for renting families, so everyone who rents will be very pleased to see a move towards longer tenancies.

“But if the Government really wants to stand up and provide stability for renters, they can and should go beyond three years to provide real protection from eviction, and the huge upheaval of having to move home, jobs and schools.”

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