Government promises better tenancies for families in rental homes
Property industry welcomes crackdown on hidden charges in the rental market
Wednesday 02 October 2013
New measures will encourage longer fixed-term, family-friendly tenancies and raise standards in the private rented sector, according to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.
Mr Pickles said the new package of measures will mean that tenants will be able to request longer tenancies that provide stability for their family, avoid hidden fees when renting a home and demand a fair deal from their landlords and letting agents.
This will include a model tenancy agreement, clearly setting out the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords. A tenants’ charter will ensure all tenants know what to expect from their tenancy and, if something goes wrong, where to go for help. This will include greater transparency about lettings agents’ fees, helping to stop unreasonable practices and unfair charges, and ensuring would-be tenants know the full costs before they sign up to any contract
Gavin Smart, director of policy and practice at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), said: "We’re pleased to see the government recognising that private tenants need more help to secure their rights and get the conditions they want.
"Being armed with better information will help some people to do this. But for others, it will only help them to achieve anything if they have enough leverage to get their landlord or letting agent to act – and there appears to be little in these proposals that increases that leverage.
"The impact of today’s announcement is likely to be limited for many tenants who are on low incomes and where competition for property is fierce, so we expect calls for greater regulation of the sector to continue. We want to see greater professionalism among private landlords to help give tenants a better deal."
Lucy Morton, senior partner and head of lettings at W.A.Ellis, said: " Eric Pickles tenants’ charter is a positive step. Interestingly, though, our average tenancy has increased to beyond three years and often it is the landlord who will commit to a longer term and it is the tenant who wants the flexibility of a break clause after six months. It’s important that the model does include rent review clauses, to provide both landlord and tenant with greater financial certainty."
George Spencer, chief executive officer of online lettings company Rentify, said: "With more people both choosing and having to rent for longer, one of the problems with the letting industry has been the tendency towards short tenancies. This gives tenants very little security and can be particularly tricky if you need certainty, perhaps because you are raising children in rented accommodation, for example, and regular chopping and changing doesn't work with nursery or school places.
"But actually landlords tend to prefer long-term tenants because this is far less hassle than settling in a new tenant every six or 12 months and showing them where everything is. The other danger of frequently changing tenants is void periods where the landlord is inbetween tenancies and has to cover the mortgage themselves."
Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which? said: "We welcome this crackdown on hidden charges in the rental market. People need to know exactly what they are signing up to so that they can more easily shop around. Longer tenancies could also mark the end of unnecessary renewal fees for landlords and tenants."
A spacious Grade II-listed family home with annexe and equestrian facilities among four acres of land in Itchingfield
A four-bedroom home with exposed brick walls and open fires in the picturesque village of Northill
A Grade II-listed property with five bedrooms and unique tower, overlooking Hastings Old Town
A charming five-bedroom detached family home, set within half an acre in Kew
A two-bedroom maisonette set on the top two floors of a period building, close to Kentish Town Tube.
Take advantage of the extra space provided by former stables and outbuildings at this five-bedroom farmhouse.
This three-bedroom Victorian terrace is near to Queen’s Road Peckham station, Nunhead station.
A five-bedroom modern house with terrace, swimming pool, Zen treehouse and large carp pond
An unexpected gem with four bedrooms, remarkable vaulted reception and a galleried study area
A five-bedroom house in one of Lymington's most sought after tree lined avenues, moments from the marinas and sailing clubs
A grand early 19th century B&B close to the historic harbour, with four en suite bedrooms
A four-bedroom, 17th century home with walled gardens, a landscaped terrace, cellar and open fires
A six-bedroom house with five bathrooms and four reception rooms spread over 4,000sq ft of luxury living space
A stunning three double-bedroom apartment with two decked terraces in the exclusive gated community, Bromyard House
A 10-bedroom period, family home amid beautiful surroundings in the centre of the Wentworth Estate in Longcross village
A stylish three-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms and private landscaped garden, moments from Fitzroy Square
A Grade II-listed Elizabethan barn with landscaped gardens, exposed elm beams and four bedrooms, all with lovely views
A six-bedroom family home, dating back to 1280 with four reception rooms, barn, swimming pool and tennis courts in Harwell
A spacious two-bedroom flat, refurbished to a very high standard with private landscaped garden, close to Kentish Town station
An exceptional two-bedroom apartment with balcony and underground parking in the centre of Richmond
A one-bedroom, luxury, duplex apartment in the grand landmark building, Imperial Hall
Run a fabulous boutique shop, live above it in a one-bedroom flat and let a second one-bedroom flat that comes part and parcel
A Grade-II listed, thatched cottage in Hundleby village, with five bedrooms, a coach house and three and a half acres
A spacious two-bedroom flat in the heart of Hoxton Square with wooden floors and roof terrace
A five-bedroom family home with stunning pool and gym complex set among two acres of land
A six-bedroom period house with heated swimming pool and a separate two-bedroom annexe cottage in Townlake, £795,000
A spacious and contemporary two-bedroom flat arranged over three floors, with garden patio close to St George Square, £600,000
A one-bedroom flat in a beautiful Regency building opposite the beach in Kemp Town, £190,000
A two-bedroom flat with London skyline views close to Surrey Quays. £395,000.
A seven-storey tower with three bedrooms and a stunning roof terrace. Guide price: £850,000.
A 16-bedroom country pile with nine reception rooms, four self-contained flats and a 13th century Peel Tower. £850,000.
A classic six-bedroom Victorian Manse house 10 miles from Edinburgh. £495,000.
John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool to be sold at auction. Guide price: £150,000-£250,000.
A six-bedroom detached period property with secluded gardens, ample parking and a double garage in Rye, £675,000.
A large split-level property with three double-bedrooms and roof terrace, close to Crouch End Broadway, £625,000.
A charming barn conversion in the picturesque Cotswold village of Ilmington with three bedrooms, a detached garage, workshop and beautifully manicured gardens £675,000.
A three-bedroom new build, ground-floor flat with two bathrooms, close to Bermondsey tube, £445,000.
A three-bedroom house in an enviable new development moments from Oxshott High Street, with secluded garden and decked area, £385,000
A two-bedroom split-level flat with stunning south-west facing roof terrace in the popular Brondesbury Conservation Area, £549,950.
A charming 16th century, three-bedroom detached house in Bidborough with picturesque garden
A top-floor one-bedroom flat in the heart of Pimlico with a terrace providing spectacular views over London, £495,000.
A six-bedroom house, with three reception rooms, 1.5 acres of land and stables, £450,000.
A three-bedroom terraced house in the heart of Clapham Old Town with private west-facing roof terrace, £895,000.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
life + styleClarissa Baldwin is the brains behind the slogan 'A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas'
Life & Style blogs
- 1 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 2 How black gold was hijacked: North sea oil and the betrayal of Scotland
- 3 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 4 Scientists sequence oldest human DNA from fossilised leg bone found in Spain
- 5 ‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert
£100000 - £200000 per annum + excellent benefits & bonus scheme: Pro-Recruitme...
£75000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: An opportunity for a VAT Manager to j...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: "Exciting Audit S...
£80000 - £100000 Per Annum fantastic benefits + bonus + car allowance: Clearwa...