Nationwide Building Society’s buy-to-let arm has trebled the maximum length of tenancy it allows landlords to offer to 36 months.
Previously, The Mortgage Works would only allow assured shorthold tenancy agreements of up to twelve months.
Nearly all other mainstream buy-to-let lenders restrict landlords to offering AST’s of up to 12 months, except Woolwich, which requires an AST of a minimum of six months and maximum of 24 months.
Lettings experts have been calling for longer term agreements for some time, as the private rented sector grows.
TMW managing director Henry Jordan says: “According to Shelter, one in five families now rents rather than owns. Families are more likely to want longer term tenancies to, for example, ensure continuity of schools, so giving our customers this option will bring greater stability to this growing market segment.”
The Buy to Let Business managing director Ying Tan says: “Any relaxation in criteria is good news and this will be particularly good for those looking for longer-term security of tenure.”
London & Country associate director of communications David Hollingworth says: “This is the sort of security of tenure ‘generation rent’ is looking for. If other lenders follow then we could see longer tenancy agreements become more commonplace.”
In March, TMW U-turned on its decision to stop lending to landlords who have tenants on housing benefits, days after Money Marketing’s sister title Mortgage Strategy broke the news.