Many buy-to-let landlords may have reacted angrily to government proposals that will give tenants a minimum three year contract, but one prominent residential landlord backs the government’s proposal regarding longer tenancies.
With rents increasing by less than inflation and average rents lower than mortgage payments, many people are opting against home ownership, which is currently at a 30-year low, and are now renting, and this trend looks set to continue, according to Neil Young, CEO of Get Living.
“It is increasingly common to rent, rather than buy, with the likes of Netflix, Spotify and Uber leading the way and now homes set to follow,” he said.
As the CEO of Get Living, the build-to-rent trailblazer behind East Village in London, Young believes that any plan to impose minimum terms to rental agreements of three years would benefit tenants seeking security of tenure, as well as landlords looking for a stable rental income.
He commented: “We are proud to offer three-year tenancies as standard and wholeheartedly encourage the rest of our sector to do so.
“Renting shouldn’t be a second-rate choice to homebuying. With three-year tenancies and resident-only break clause after six months, residents have the reassurance of long-term security while having the flexibility to follow their careers or their thirst for adventure, without being tied in to a home.
“With more than 20,000 Build to Rent homes complete across the UK and almost 100,000 more in the pipeline, our sector is starting to show that, done right, renting can offer much more than it’s given credit for.
“At Get Living, we’ve never accepted the ‘norms’ of renting. Last year we scrapped security deposits and have returned millions of pounds to our existing residents.
“Abolishing deposits made sense as we have great relationships with our residents and know that they look after their homes. It’s also taken away a real cost barrier to renting and helped build trust.”
Johnny Caddick, managing director at Moda, which is creating a £2bn portfolio of build-to-rent schemes across England and Scotland, also believes that it “makes sense” that residents are given security of tenure.
He said: “We fully support these moves provided people have flexibility if they only wish to stay for a year or two.
“We need a customer-centric rental market if people are to grow confidence in the property sector. That has to mean encouraging more rental development through the planning system that is willing to provide better homes with no risk of eviction because the landlord wishes to sell or move back in.”