Press Release: Crawley Leader backs indefinite tenancies for private renters

Councillor Peter Lamb has backed Labour’s pledge to protect private renters in England from eviction with new ‘indefinite’ tenancies, based on rules currently in place in Germany.

The change would revolutionise the private rental market, potentially benefitting 10,759 of Crawley’s households (covering approximately 22.6% of all 47,576 properties in Crawley). German tenancies last, on average, 11 years, compared to around 4 years in England.

In England, according to a survey of landlords conducted by the Government, landlords or their agents make the decision to end almost one in five tenancies (18%). At present, tenants can be evicted without any reason being given, and despite having done nothing wrong. Nationally, one in three private renters – 1.6m households – have dependent children.

Under the German system, tenancies are effectively open-ended with a tenant only able to be evicted on tightly defined grounds, for example if they don’t pay the rent or commit criminal behaviour in the property.

At the 2017 election, Labour committed to default three year tenancies. Labour will now consult widely with landlord and tenant groups on the proper grounds for termination of a tenancy, ahead of the next general election. The Party has previously set out additional measures for controls on rents and tougher standards which will sit alongside this new proposal.

Councillor Peter Lamb said:

“Like many in my generation, I’ve been trapped in the private rental sector since leaving home, left unsure year-to-year where I’m going to be living next.

“Almost a quarter of Crawley’s households are currently in private rented housing, and that number is growing every year. It’s time we ended the uncertainly for these tens of thousands of local residents and gave them the tenancy security they deserve.”

John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, said:

“The insecurity of renting is a power imbalance at the heart of our broken housing market, where tenants are afraid to report problems in case they are evicted, and families with children are forced to move at short notice.

“Many landlords provide decent homes that tenants are happy with, but the Government is allowing rogue landlords to take advantage of good tenants. Renters deserve better.”

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