Under a new tenants’ charter, unveiled by communities secretary Eric Pickles, tenants will be able to demand longer tenancies, expected to be between two and five years. He said, “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.”
However, Nationwide building society and Paragon are the only buy-to-let lenders who allow landlords to issue tenancies exceeding one-year, which means many landlords could face breaching their buy-to-let mortgage terms. Coventry building society commented, “If a buy-to-let borrower offers a tenant an agreement lasting more than 12 months they would be in breach of our terms and conditions.”
This “new model tenancy agreement” is expected to be best received by older renters, who crave stability, whereas younger renters will still prefer short-term tenancies due to their flexibility.
The charter will also emphasise the need for transparency on letting agent fees to ensure tenants don’t get ripped-off. Pickles said, “Families deserve stability for their children, and all tenants deserve a good and transparent service from their landlords and lettings agents.”