I feel passionate about the need for longer term tenancies for people who want to make a home and require security of tenure in their rented property. So passionate that I’ve set up a whole business dedicated to achieving it! So, today I was excited to read Shelter Scotland’s new report The case for greater security for private tenants in Scotland.
In it they document some really good ideas – reviewing the grounds for repossession under assured tenancies, making it easier to create longer tenancies with statute designed to encourage it, and ways to make future rent increases reasonable rather than exploitative.
Although I understand their position, I’m less keen on the idea of scrapping short assured tenancies. I think short assured tenancies serve a useful purpose for many tenants and landlords. I do however agree that short assured tenancies are now being written as the norm when actually both parties would benefit from a modernised form of an assured tenancy.
In my business, I specialise in setting up and looking after long term tenancies. I’m doing it within the existing framework of assured and short assured tenancies. I recommend my landlords begin by offering a short assured tenancy. During the initial period of the tenancy I work with the landlord and tenants to build our relationship. At the end of the initial period we review and if the landlord and tenant want to continue, we talk about whether they would like to change any of the terms of their agreement. For example, they might agree to add a longer notice period, create the next lease with a longer initial period, or move to an assured tenancy.
I would love to see a review of the short assured and assured tenancy statute. It would make these negotiations and agreements much easier and would make this kind of arrangement much more common. I would love to see more tenants with security of tenure and more landlords with long term reliable tenancies in place. This would be so progressive and would the rental sector to be a viable and attractive alternative to home ownership.