Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.

06 SEP 2018


Thank you for taking the time to email me about secure tenancies and I do support longer tenancies in the private rented sector.

I know that housing remains a key issue for South Devon and that relatively low wages to high house prices leave too many people with no option but private rented accommodation. We not only need to help more individuals and families own their own home but also make sure there are better protections for tenants to feel more secure. Our current system is heavily weighted in favour of landlords and I am pleased that the government is taking action to address this imbalance.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government's consultation which proposes the introduction of a minimum 3-year tenancy terms, with a 6-month break clause, to help renters put down roots, has now closed. Currently, the majority of rental contracts are shorthold tenancies and I know this can lead to insecurity for families and concerns about challenging poor property standards for fear of tenancies being terminated.

Under the proposed longer term agreement, 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. Renters should be able to feel their house is their home and I strongly hope local constituents shared their views via the consultation before it closed.

I hope the following information on this topic from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is reassuring:

Longer tenancies help landlords by reducing the time their properties are vacant, as well avoiding the need for more frequent payment of agency fees for renewing a tenancy. Moreover, with many tenants on short-term contracts, longer tenancy agreements will help to provide certainty and stability for renters.

A public consultation has been launched to consider how barriers to landlords offering longer tenancies can be overcome. One of the range of options proposed is the introduction of a minimum three-year tenancy term, with a six-month break clause. This will help renters to put down roots, as well as giving landlords longer term financial security.
Under the proposed longer term agreement, tenants would be able to leave the property before the end of the minimum term, but would have greater protection if they wanted to stay in the property for an extended period of time. Landlords would also continue to be able to recover possession of their property on reasonable grounds under the new proposed arrangements.
Exemptions for a minimum tenancy could, of course, be put in place for accommodation that could not be realistically last three years such as student accommodation and short-term lets. These are being considered as part of the consultation.

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