The Government has decided, for reasons unknown, to effectively abolish the assured shorthold tenancy, leaving the assured tenancy as the only viable form of renting.
That sounds pretty trivial, but it is not far off a return to the situation that prevailed in a previous era when we barely had a private rental market. And the evidence from that era suggests that the results will be disastrous.
The decision to ban “no fault” evictions sounds terribly cuddly — after all, why should people lose their homes through no fault of their own?
But the devil is, as always, in the detail. The importance of assured shorthold tenancies versus assured tenancies is this: the two types of contract are near exactly the same, the parties agree what is to be rented, to what standard, for what price and so on. A shorthold tenancy can, after the initial period, be ended by the landlord by giving two months’ notice. That’s it, no reason is needed. An assured tenancy cannot. If the tenant doesn’t want to leave then the landlord has to provide a reason and one good enough to convince a court. Rent hasn’t been paid, the place is being destroyed, that sort of thing.
It seems harmless enough when put that way. If a landlord has a reasonable tenant then why would they want to ditch them anyway? But this is to ignore the lessons of history.