On new terms
Proposed amendments to the Localism Bill would make longer fixed-term tenancies possible
The House of Lords has proposed amendments to the Localism Bill which could change the nature of the planned fixed-term tenancy agreements.
As it stands, the draft bill contains two main drawbacks concerning the new, fixed-term tenancies:
- if the term of the tenancy is more than three years, it would need to be made by deed;
- if the term is more than seven years, it would need to be registered with the Land Registry.
These requirements would increase the costs, complexity and administrative burden on local authorities and social landlords which planned to introduce fixed-term tenancies over three years.
However, the Lords’ amendment to the bill, if approved, would remove the requirement for such tenancy agreements to be made by deed and/or registered with the Land Registry.
This may make landlords more likely to use longer tenancies. Many favour longer fixed terms to create more sustainable communities and this may now be possible.
The Lords have also proposed that the minimum fixed term for flexible tenancies only is changed from two years to seven years to get round Tenant Services Authority standards which require a minimum two-year period for a fixed-term affordable rent tenancies.
Helen Tucker is a partner at Anthony Collins
Additional research by Emma Fuller, trainee solicitor