Indefinite Tenancies Proposed by Labour Party

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Indefinite tenancies have been proposed by the Labour party if they were to get into government.

The shadow housing secretary, John Healey, has announced that the Labour party would look to force landlords to offer tenancies of indefinite length in an attempt to give tenants more security.

The plan for indefinite tenancies is based on the German system, where landlords are not allowed to evict without a reason, only for reasons such as failure to pay rent or committing an offence in the property.

Tenants would still be able to leave the property if they gave a period of notice.

The proposal is a change from Labour’s pledge at the 2017 election, when it committed to making private tenancies three years by default.

They said that the indefinite tenancy system brings more security for renters, with private tenancies in Germany lasting an average of 11 years, compared with about four in England. It is felt by Labour that the indefinite tenancies would particularly help households with dependant children in the private rental sector.

The indefinite scheme is also intended to reduce the extent of rent rises, as the party feel that many UK landlords use tenancy changeovers as an opportunity to increase the rent charged on a property.

It was found in a 2018 survey that 18 per cent of tenancies ended in England over the previous two years came as a decision of the landlord or agent.

Shadow housing secretary 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.’