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Government scraps plans to introduce three-year tenancies

The government appears to have scrapped proposals that will give tenants a minimum three-year contract.

According to an article in The Sun yesterday, the Treasury blocked the plans due to concerns that it could deter people from investing in the buy-to-let sector.

The idea behind the plan was to offer private tenants greater security and enable them to put down roots. But a number of buy-to-let landlords feared that the risks may far outweigh the benefits.


Aside from make it harder for landlords to deal with problematic tenants as they would be locked into a longer term agreements, there were also concerns that three-year tenancies could potentially make it harder for buy-to-let landlords to finance their property purchases.

The move to scrap three-year tenancies has been described by Simon Heawood, CEO and founder of Bricklane, as a “baffling turnaround by the government”.

Heawood is in favour of three-year tenancies as he believes that they are “better” for both landlords and tenants.

He commented: “Forward thinking landlords like us are already offering three-year tenancies as standard, for commercial reasons.

“Giving tenants more security is not only right, but also generates better financial returns for investors.

“Our customers value the fact that tenants are able to feel at home, without compromising investment returns, or having the responsibilities of being a landlord themselves.”

However, a recent study by online letting agent MakeUrMove has found the overwhelming majority of tenants do not want three-year tenancies, instead preferring 12 month contracts.

The research found that 30% of tenants want tenancies to last 12 months, and a further 20% want tenancies to last for no more than two years.

These findings show many tenants prefer flexibility and freedom when it comes to tenancies, with 31% saying flexibility was the most important factor when looking at the length of their tenancy.

Some 29% of tenants stated that they would actually like a tenancy to last significantly longer than three years, and 43% of the tenants questioned had spent more than five years in their current rental property.

MakeUrMove managing director, Alexandra Morris, said: “Many tenancy agreements are currently set at twelve months with a six months break clause and we’ve found nearly a third of tenants are happy with this length.

“Our findings reinforce that the majority of people want either the flexibility of a shorter rental, or the security of a much, much longer term.”

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Poll: Do you welcome the government’s decision to scrap plans to guarantee three-year tenancies for renters?


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    shelter won't like that

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    We have found that a majority of tenants want shorter tenancies initially - 6 or 12 months that continue on a periodic basis indefinitely.

    In the last 12 months, we have had 3 maybe 4 tenants ask for longer tenancies on properties (usually larger 3/4 bedroom houses as families) which the landlords are happy to accommodate.

    One of our landlords does a 6 month contract initially on all his properties which then roll over. In the 14 years we have had his portfolio, he has only ever served section 8 notices for rent arrears a handful of times, not once serving a section 21.

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    i only ever evict non paying tenants, but i use section 21 because it's quicker, easier and cheaper

  • David Lester

    Did someone say that the Goverment listened! whatever next? maybe tax reviews!

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    Typically, landlords are very happy for good tenants to stay long term. Only a government as idiotic as the SNP one would risk forcing landlords to suffer bad tenants indefinitely or bail out of btl, causing a supply crisis and a huge increase in rents. Glad the UK government has shown more common sense - although I'm grateful to SNP for my recent 25% rise in my rents in Glasgow!

  • James B

    It was nothing other than a vote winner, completely unnecessary and tenants would have paid a severe price ..

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    All this meddling needs to stop it’s pointless and a waste of time

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    on 99.8% of our managed properties it is the tenant that gives notice under 3 years. The landlords express a desire for long term tenants when marketing, tenants are often wary of this, for obvious reasons such as change of jobs, relationships etc. We have a few company lets where the actual working contract is only for a set period, often 2 years. When I mentioned the possibly of 3 year tenancies to new tenants they were not keen.
    We start with 6 months (unless requested a 12 month one) and then the tenancy goes to Contractual Periodic.

  • Bill Wood

    An agreement between landlord and tenant on the term is best.
    These are the two parties involved, no one else.

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    Common sense has prevailed, there's nothing to stop a Landlord from offering three year lets from the outset if it suits both parties........

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    6 month then statatory periodic always happens always works, both sides stay protected.
    The fools who thought a 3 year tenacy is the way forward is an utter idiot and so are those that supported it.
    Over 30 years renting and apply very simple rules, pay rent in full on time, respect my property, respect the neighbours, break one of these rules, you will be removed immediatly,No excuse.
    Final rule, Do Not Sign My TA unless you agree to my rules to rent my property


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