Landlords reject longer tenancy proposal

Rural landlords say forcing the private rented sector to offer long-term tenancies would threaten the short-term lettings market and reduce the availability of rented homes in the countryside.

The government is proposing to introduce a minimum three-year contract for rental tenancies in a consultation published this week.

The Country Land and Business Association, whose members provide nearly 40% of all private rented housing in rural areas, said the market does not need forced minimum contracts.

It said rural lettings already provided a longer-term home for tenants.

A survey of CLA members with residential lettings revealed that the average tenancy length in rural areas is 7.6 years, and more than a third have retained the same tenants for 10 years or more.

CLA Housing Adviser Matthew O’Connell said: “The private rented sector has substantially increased and people are renting for longer, but the current legislative framework already offers opportunities for longer tenancies which meet the needs of both landlords and tenants across the rural market.

“Overly prescriptive tenancy lengths could be highly disruptive to the rural economy, threatening the short-term lettings market for seasonal workers in agriculture and tourism.

An excessive regulatory burden could also lead to potential long-term rental homes being lost as landlords opt to let them as holiday accommodation or sell, further reducing the supply of rented homes for those struggling to get on the housing ladder.”


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