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It seems odd that for years I have been saying that legislation to give tenants better security in the private rental sector is not needed, that private sector landlords want tenants to settle in their properties, when the statistics are proving this to be true.
The English Housing Survey 2018-19 found that the average length of a private rented sector tenancy has risen from 4.1 years in 2017-18 to 4.4. This not only gives private tenants better security; it is the highest average length of tenancy in 10 years. In 10 years!
In the same period, political parties have campaigned (with the support of Shelter) to ensure better security for tenants in the private rental sector by imposing a minimum tenancy term of 3 years, unless there are limited grounds for eviction.
Who needs legislation when landlords are already doing what is required already?
Of course, 4.4 years is an average so some tenancies are far shorter, but rather than automatically blaming the landlord for this, accept that it could sometimes be tenant choice or, dare I say it, because the tenant has given the landlord good reason to evict.
There was further information in the survey that showed an impact for the private sector. About 2.4 million private tenants (that is 56 per cent) expected to buy a property at some time in the future.
Although this is understandable with the number of professionals who are finding that the private sector is ideal as a first home, the aspiration would still be home ownership, when careers are settled. Still hopeful for the future, but this has reduced from 61 per cent in 2013-14.
It looks as though the private sector will continue to provide better security in homes for those that need them for the foreseeable future, but how long can this continue, without some support from Government for the landlords?
A good first step would be acknowledging the work the landlords do and asking Shelter to back-out of the private rented sector and stop campaigning on things that don’t require it.
For advice on buy to let issues – Ask Sharon