Fergus Wilson Panorama documentary – now available on iPlayer22:10 PM, 18th March 2019
About 3 days ago 93
Labour Shadow housing secretary John Healey has gone one further than the pledge in their manifesto of 2017 of committing to make all PRS tenancies a minimum of a three year term. He would like to see ‘German style’ tenancies of indefinite length introduced as a matter of default upon the PRS to increase renter security.
In Germany the average tenancy last an approximate average of 11 years compared to four years in the UK.
John Healey said: “People shouldn’t be living in fear of losing their homes. The insecurity of renting is a power imbalance at the heart of our broken housing market, where tenants are afraid to report problems in case they are evicted, and families with children are forced to move at short notice.
“Many landlords provide decent homes that tenants are happy with, but the government is allowing rogue landlords to take advantage of good tenants. Renters deserve better.”
Greg Beales, Campaign Director at Shelter, responded positively to the plan saying: “Private rents are already expensive, so when you add short term contracts into the mix, the situation for renters is pretty tough.
“Given that one in four families now privately rent their home, an alarming number of people are at the mercy of no-fault evictions. Right now a family can be turfed out for no reason at any time, and saddled with not only the cost of moving but the huge burden of uprooting their lives.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. We look forward to seeing what the government brings to the table on longer tenancies, and hope they will give renters the security and stability they deserve. Our own research shows three quarters of England’s private renters think they’d benefit from a longer tenancy. So the message is loud and clear: longer tenancies should be written into law.”
However, without any security for landlords, or an ability to find finance on tenancies longer than 3 years, it is not clear how many of these new indefinite tenancies Mr Healey or Shelter expect to be available to renters.
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