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Equalities and Rights Equalities and Rights

Improve protections for those who rent

Last updated: 12:55pm 21 January 2019

We will also improve protections for those who rent, including by looking at how we increase security for good tenants and encouraging landlords to offer longer tenancies as standard.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.59

Our verdict

A 2016 study by the housing charity Shelter found that:

“English private renters have less security by default than renters in most of our neighbouring countries.”

“…over 80 million tenants across Europe have stronger protection than they would get in England, only 7 million European tenants have comparably poor protection.”

This policy promises to increase security for good tenants and encourage landlords to offer longer tenancies as standard.

The government introduced the Tenant Fees Bill in May 2018, which proposes banning letting fees paid by tenants and capping tenancy deposits. The Bill is currently at the latter stages of progress through the Houses of Parliament and appears to be on its way to becoming law.

In July 2018, the government announced plans to introduce a minimum three-year tenancy term, with a six-month break clause for renters. Under the proposal:

“…tenants would be able to leave before the end of the minimum term, but would have greater protection if they wanted to stay in a property for an extended period of time”.

A consultation on the proposed model ran in July and August 2018. The feedback is being analysed at the time of writing.

To fulfil this manifesto pledge and actually “improve protections for those who rent”, the Tenant Fees Bill will need to gain Royal Assent, and the consultation on longer tenancies will also have to result in legislation. Until then, this is ‘in progress’. Follow this policy to keep up to date.

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