Rented Housing

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered at on 9 November 2016.

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Photo of Lord Greaves Lord Greaves Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they consider that common law tenancies for (1) residential accommodation in general, and (2) houses in multiple occupation in particular, are being misused, and if so whether changes are needed to tenancy laws.

Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

Common law tenancies in the private rented sector in England account for a small part of the housing market, mainly where the rent payable is high or the landlord lives in the property. The default tenancy is assured short hold, with 81 per cent of the 4.3 million household in the private rented sector occupying under such tenancies. The Government is not aware of misuse of common law tenancies to avoid statutory protections. In particular the provisions in the Housing Act 2004 relating to Houses in Multiple Occupation, including mandatory licensing, apply to properties occupied by common law tenancies.

In October 2010 changes were introduced to assured tenancy rules by increasing the rent limit so tenancies with rents not exceeding £100,000 are no longer common law tenancies. The Government has no plans to make any further changes to the laws applying to common law tenancies.

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