Until a few years’ ago, we could expect almost all tenants of around pensionable age to have security of tenure. The Rent Act 1977 offers full security for life, plus a right to a registered fair rent, well below current market rents, especially in high value areas like London and other big cities.
But because no new Rent Act tenancies have been created since February 1996, we are now seeing an increasing number of older tenants, and those approaching retirement, who have shorthold tenancies, because this has been the main type of tenancy on offer for the last twenty years or more.
The private rented sector has all but doubled in that time, while owner occupation and social renting have both declined. This means that private renting, traditionally seen as the appropriate sector for the young and mobile, is now housing families and others who need a long-term home.
The Government has started to listen, and is presently consulting on the suggestion that the legal minimum for shorthold tenancies, (currently only six months), should be extended to three years.
That may suit some people, for example, a family with children who just want to ensure stability at school until exams have been taken, but it’s certainly not the answer for most people.
Three-year tenancies are unlikely to meet the needs of older renters. If you are 77 years old, why should you feel happy about the thought that you could be forced to leave your home at any time after your 80th birthday?
Advice4Renters is working with AgeUK London to set up a Group of older tenants to talk about this and related issues which affect older tenants (such as rents going up faster than pensions) and how we can make sure that the Government hears our voice when they are deciding policies to make private renting a better experience.
PLEASE LET US KNOW IF WE CAN ADD YOUR NAME TO THE MAILING LIST FOR THIS NEW GROUP. DO COME ALONG TO THE FIRST MEETING OF THE GROUP ON 16 AUGUST AT 2PM AT AGE UK LONDON IF YOU POSSIBLY CAN.
For further information and to be added to the mailing list, contact Jacky Peacock, Advice4Renters, tel. 020 7624 4327 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
To book your place: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/senior-renters-group-tickets-7172606459