Disgruntled private landlords are likely to turn their attention from buy-to-let to holiday lets if the government presses ahead with its three-year tenancy plans, according to the CLA.
The membership organisation for owners of land, property and business in rural England and Wales firmly rejects forced long-term tenancies, arguing that it would threaten the short-term rental 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 CLA whose members provide almost 40% of all private rented housing in rural areas said the market does not need to force minimum contracts as rural lettings already provide a longer-term home for tenants.
The average tenancy length in rural areas is 7.6 years, according to a recent survey of CLA members.
The study also found that more than a third of landlords have retained the same tenants for 10 years or more.
CLA housing adviser Matthew O’Connell commented: “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.”