Earlier this week (2nd February 2015) Mike Gapes participated in a parliamentary debate on the private rented sector. An extract of his exchange with Brandon Lewis, Minister of State (Communities and Local Government), is provided below:
Mike Gapes: What progress his Department has made in promoting longer-term tenancies in the private rented sector.
Brandon Lewis: We are progressing longer tenancies by promoting a model tenancy agreement with bodies representing landlords, tenants, letting agents, mortgage lenders and local authorities. Recent figures show that tenancy lengths have increased to an average of just under four years.
Mike went on to criticised the lack of real progress on reforming the private rented sector:
Mike Gapes: Nine million people, including 1 million families with children, are in private rented accommodation, which, as thousands in my constituency know, leads to uncertainty and fear about people’s long-term future and stability. When will this Conservative Government and their Lib Dem accomplices take the issue seriously? Will they do something now, rather than engage in spurious consultations that take months and years?
Brandon Lewis: I am not sure exactly what the hon. Gentleman is asking us to do. As I said, we have published a model tenancy agreement to encourage longer tenancies. It is worth noting that, according to Savills, a majority of people, particularly younger people, do not want longer tenancies and that 81% of private renters who have moved in the last three years ended their last tenancy because they wished to move, predominantly for work reasons.