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It’s not often that the Conservative Party proposes a policy that might actually help poorer people, but their plan to guarantee private renters three-year long tenancies would have given much-needed security to those who have been forced into the currently deeply insecure private rented sector.
However, after facing a backlash from some of the 87 Tory MPs and many others party members who happen to be private landlords, reports now indicate that Theresa May has shamelessly decided to quietly drop the plans.
Currently, those forced into the private rented sector are only initially legally entitled to a six month contract.
However, following the expiration of this initial contract, many Estate Agents and landlords decide not to offer another fixed-term contract to tenants, instead opting to instigate a rolling month-to-month contract that means landlords can choose to evict tenants with only a very small notice period.
The Conservatives’ mandatory three year tenancy plan would have guaranteed private renters much-need security, whilst also allowing them to leave the property with a month’s notice if they so wished.
However, in July, Conservative Party Activist Rosalind Beck – who is herself a private Landlord – slammed the Tories’ plans, attempting to argue that private tenants actually preferred the insecurity of a rolling contract.
However, following the complaint from Beck, and added to Downing Street fearing that a large proportion of the 87 Tory MPs who are also landlords would rebel against the plans, Theresa May has now shamelessly caved in and agreed to almost entirely scrap the plans – with only a voluntary system now reportedly being proposed.
A Senior government source reportedly told The S*n:
“Hammond and May are both losing their bottle on three year tenancies, for different but equally pathetic reasons.
It’s a proper election winner but they’re going to blow it.”
The policy was also supported by the leading Homeless charity, Shelter, whose CEO, Polly Neate said of the government’s reported decision to to scrap the plans:
“As it stands, families across the country have to put up with blink-and-you-miss-it six-month contracts.
“This is nowhere near enough time to put kids through school and in the worst cases leaves renters looking over their shoulder worrying about the terrifying threat of homelessness.
“We need the government to fix this mess by standing up for renters and giving them a legal right to stay in their home for longer – anything short of this will be a complete and utter waste of time.”
With soaring house prices and stagnating wages ensuring younger people and low-earners can’t obtain a mortgage – in addition to the Conservative Party selling off social housing and refusing to properly replace – 20% of the entire population have now been forced into the private rented market.
Furthermore, coupled with low wages and the growing inability for people to afford soaring rents, short term tenancies are one of the leading causes of homelessness in Britain today – and it is clear the situation needs to be addressed urgently for both moral and economic reasons.
However, rather than doing the right thing by implementing a policy that would help ordinary people – as well as save the government huge amounts of money on the soaring number of people requiring temporary accommodation – the Tories once again look set to capitulate to the very richest in our society to the vast detriment of those with the very least.