Government announces plans for family friendly tenancies

The government is to introduce new measures that aim to encourage family-friendly tenancies in the private rental sector (PRS).

Secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles has announced the move, which will allow families to request longer contracts to increase stability and avoid hidden fees and charges.

This will be achieved through the development of a model tenancy agreement, which will be created alongside the PRS. It will aim to establish tenants’ rights and responsibilities and provide a benchmark the sector can follow when writing rental contracts.

As well as providing greater certainty and transparency for families, renters will have better access to information regarding the types of tenancy they can request.

The model tenancy agreement will be created alongside a tenants’ charter, which will provide a range of information for renters. It will include clear details regarding letting agent fees to ensure people are aware of costs before signing a contract and will work in conjunction with the new compulsory redress schemes for agents.

Commenting on the new measures, Mr Pickles said: “The private rented market is a vital asset to this country, and plays an important role providing flexible accommodation for those who do not want to buy, or are saving up for a deposit.”

He added the government wants to avoid “strangling” the sector and burdening tenants with more red tape, but claimed the proposals will provide families with stability for their children and transparency for all renters.

“Today’s proposals will raise the quality and choice of rental accommodation [and] root out the cowboys and rogue operators in the sector,” Mr Pickles stated.

The communities and local government minister also praised the new £1 billion Build to Rent Fund and said 45 potential construction schemes have already been identified. He claimed this will revolutionise the way in which homes are built for the PRS and provide increased choice and quality for tenants.

Mr Pickles said a combination of boosting rental home supply and a new regulatory framework will increase competition and standards in the sector.

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