Moneywise readers say the government shouldn’t meddle in the rental market

17 July 2018

In our online poll we asked Moneywise readers: “Should tenants be offered long-term rental contracts?” and the answer was a clear “No”.

The question was prompted by the government’s proposals to introduce mandatory three-year tenancy agreements, with a six-month break clause, to give tenants more security.

Figures show that tenants typically stay in their homes for nearly four years, but 81% of tenancy agreements are assured shorthold tenancies with a fixed minimum term of six or 12 months. Although tenants and landlords can agree to longer terms, most don’t do so.

The government says this leads to tenants feeling insecure, unable to challenge poor property standards for fear of tenancies being terminated, and unable to plan for their future.

Representing the interests of landlords, The National Landlords Association reacted angrily to the proposals, saying they were too “rigid”, but what do Moneywise readers think?

Of the 510 respondents who answered our poll between 3 and 10 July, 26% gave a firm “Yes” and agreed with the statement that “Tenants need more long-term security for their living arrangements and landlords will benefit from longer guaranteed occupancy.”

A further 8% gave the government’s plans qualified support, agreeing with the statement “Yes and no. I think it’s fairer for tenants as it offers more security, but it’s unfair on landlords, who will have less flexibility.”

The majority of respondents did not agree with the new proposals, however, for various reasons: 8% because “it will reduce the flexibility of the rental market for tenants and landlords” and 15% because “three years is too long a commitment for both tenants and landlords”.

Finally, the largest group of respondents, 40%, said “No” because “the government shouldn’t meddle in the market – the length of tenancy should be decided between landlords and tenants.”

So in total, over a third of the respondents (34%) agreed in some measure that mandatory longer tenancy agreements are a good idea. However, almost twice as many (63%) think that the present system, comprising a majority of short-term tenancy agreements, should not be changed.

Poll results


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Unless they're intending to make changes to S21 notices it wouldn't make any difference if the original term was 12 months, 2 years or 3 years or any other term anyway.Also still not heard how they will overcome mortgagors terms of only allowing maximum 12 months.This is all sounds like one of those proposals made by people who don't understand the whole market but think they have a 'good idea' (in this instance, supported by the 'smash the private landlord brigade'). You know the one's, 'lets get people to use the trains more' and then discover the infrastructure is 'pants' or the one's who got us to 'buy diesel cars' and now castigate us for doing so, yet accept no responsibility etc etcHow come, there are so many of those who make decisions/proposals on all our behalf's, who are utterly devoid of 'joined up thinking'?

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