Tenants ‘woefully protected’ by agreements

Speaking at the Wriglesworth buy-to-let (BTL) debate, Patrick Collinson, personal finance editor at The Guardian, said that tenants received ‘woeful’ protection in the UK and landlords had too much power to the detriment of the market.

He cited Germany as an example where tenants had greater security through indefinite tenure agreements that see the length of tenancies averaging 12 years and nearly half the country rents. Landlords can also only increase rents once every 15 months.

Collinson said: “We don’t have any clarity in the UK and the balance between landlords and tenants has shifted too much to landlords. The rental sector is such that tenants don’t know whether they will be pushed out of the property.”

However, David Salusbury, chairman of the National Landlords Association, commented: “Landlords don’t boot out tenants and have to go to court to get an order to regain the property for perfectly legitimate reasons. But there is a want to have the government incentivise landlords to be more flexible, as many people want to regard tenure as a long-term option .There is a balance to be drawn.”

Darren Pescod, managing director of The Mortgage Broker Ltd, said: “With the assured tenancy agreement everyone knows their rights when they go into a contract. I see it as equal power between landlords and tenants, as each have the same rights to give notice. The balance is as it should be. The UK is different, because we have an inherent passion to own houses and it’s bred into us. There is a different culture to overseas, so rental figures won’t ever get up to 40 per cent.”

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