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Government proposals to make shorthold tenancies automatic are not only irrelevant in terms of revitalising the pri...
Government proposals to make shorthold tenancies automatic are not only irrelevant in terms of revitalising the private rented sector, they make tenants unnecessarily vulnerable.

These are the conclusions of the ADC and AMA in their joint response to the DoE consultation paper 'The legislative framework for private renting'.

A spokesman for the associations said:

'Landlords generally have a greater understanding of the contractual relationships they are about to enter than the prospective tenant. It is important that the tenant understands he or she is entering into a fixed-term arrangement ... current arrangements achieve this purpose and provide the opportunity for seeking advice before signing.'

The association have also expressed alarm at proposals to reduce from 13 to 18 the number of weeks a household can accrue rent arrears before being evicted. Eight weeks can be insufficient time for a tenant to resolve financial difficulties arising from, for example, unemployment, ill health, bereavement or relationship breakdown.

Proposals to stop tenants' rights of appeal to rent assessment committees are also worrying, as RACs provide an important mechanism for clamping down on excessively high rents.

The associations readily agree that the private sector should be encouraged but believe that the government's proposals are irrelevant to this objective and only serve to reduce tenants' rights.

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