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Buy to let investors have spoken out to warn that the Government must not announce any decision that has been made on longer term tenancies until the consultation process has closed and it has considered all responses to it.
The Sun released reports which stated that a decision would be announced next week. However, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has spoken out to say that this would be a huge breach of confidence in the democratic process. This is due to the fact that the consultation on longer tenancies is not due to close until August 26.
The RLA’s stance on the matter is supportive of longer tenancies. However, it is against imposing these as a norm. It believes that taking this measure will be problematic for tenants who are seeking flexible tenancies, and for landlords who wish to provide this. The RLA has instead stated that the majority of landlords, at 57 per cent, believe that the use of financial incentives such as tax relief would be a more successful way of ensuring that landlords offer longer-term tenancies to those who want them. This was one of several options that was proposed in the Government consultation.
RLA policy director David Smith explained: ‘It would be highly irregular for the Government to make an announcement on longer tenancies next week before the consultation has even closed and it has had chance to properly consider all responses. As well as showing disregard for recognised procedure, it would suggest that the Government does not want to listen to those who will be directly affected by any change. The Government should work with landlords to introduce change that improves the rental process for both landlords and tenants. Otherwise there is a danger that even more landlords will leave the sector which is already shrinking.’