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LETTINGS NEWS: Government boost for rental sector – but few new rule changes

15/02/17

The government’s Housing White Paper says it wants to see renting promoted as a more attractive option for the public, and not treated as a second-class option.

This is good news for existing landlords and others considering investing in buy to let for the first time. The White Paper confirmed that up to 30 per cent of households may be privately renting in the next 10 years – up for just under 20 per cent now.

However, the White Paper produced few new rule changes – a sigh of relief, perhaps, for landlords who have seen a raft of new measures introduced in the past two years.

The White Paper confirmed already-announced moves to produce a database of landlords and a ban on letting agents’ fees on tenants in England. No timescale was given for either measure, and many analysts anticipate they will not come into effect until at least 2018.

A pledge to make private tenancies longer – shifting from the current typical six to 12 month contract to three-year typical tenancies – is now not going to apply to buy to let properties. These will retain the flexibility of having short or longer tenancies.

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