News

White Paper proposes more security for tenants with children

By Andrea Wong, 10 March 2017

The private rental market in the UK is performing extremely well with demand far outstripping supply. However, there is still room for improvement, and to that end the Government recently published a White Paper with the promise of more support for tenants.

Following research carried out in 2015/16 by the Residential Landlord Association, it was found that on average tenants are staying at the same private rented property for a longer period, with this proportion increasing for families with young children. Analysis showed that the average length that tenants reside in the same housing property is 4.3 years, up from 4.0 in the previous 12 months.

Due to a higher demand for long-term rental contracts, particularly with families with children, the Government are aiming to help families towards a more stable future by securing longer tenancy contracts.

Homeownership is not an option for millions of people nowadays, especially with house prices continuing torise. In support of claim, the Shadow Housing Minister, John Healey, stated that housing affordability has dropped to the lowest levels since records began making it a seemingly impossible prospect for young families. Alarmingly, UK house prices have risen by nearly a third in the last five years alone according to reports from Lloyds Bank.

It was reported last month that Conservative housing policy reforms will provide more support for families with young children who are renting and struggling with uncertainty. The family-friendly policy will give landlords the incentive to provide their tenants with three-year tenancy agreements whilst also ensuring that developers build homes that will be affordable for the average family in the UK. Currently, Ministers do not offer enough to support for tenants that rent from private landlords, and Healey claimed that Theresa May’s government even blocked Labour’s attempts to solve the issue.

With sky-high rent and unstable short-term tenancy agreements preventing ordinary families from planning for the future, the Government is looking to bolster the ‘broken’ private property market to help tenants by introducing long-term contracts for families. Millions of families are counting on this opportunity, with the average couple spending half of their salary on rent each month and those with below-average incomes handing over a third of their wage on property rent.

Rising house prices have paved way for property investors to take advantage of the private rental market, as ordinary families are unable afford to buy a house and are now the most common household type in the private rental sector, according to research from 2016.

Landlords will also benefit from the housing White Paper as they will be able to house long-term, stable tenants. Without the worry of having to deal with vacant properties or bad tenants, buy-to-let owners can cement a good relationship with tenants whilst focussing on other aspects of improvement for their property.

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