The housing and homelessness charity Shelter has called for a new kind of tenancy to be introduced across the rental market in England.
The Stable Rental Contract would provide greater stability to the growing numbers of people who rent their homes from a private landlord, says the charity.
It would also provide landlords with more certainty of a good return on their investment.
Shelter’s proposals are outlined in a new report, A better deal? Towards more stable private renting.
The Stable Rental Contract would include:
* five year tenancies, giving renters the chance to put down roots
* rent increases in line with inflation each year, giving landlords predictable incomes and renters predictable outgoings
* give landlords confidence they can easily evict genuinely bad tenants
* allow landlords to end a tenancy if they sell the property
* give renters flexibility, allowing them to give two months notice to leave.
Over the last fifteen years, the number of people who rent their home from a landlord has almost doubled to 8.5 million people, and nearly a third of renters are families with children.
The changes could be introduced immediately within the existing legal framework for private renting in England, without the need for new laws.
Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: "With a generation priced out of home ownership, renting is the only choice for growing numbers of people.
"But with the possibility of eviction with just two months’ notice, and constant worries about when the next rent rise will hit, the current rental market isn’t giving people – particularly families – the stability they need to put down roots.
"Turning rented houses into homes should be a priority for everyone who cares about the wellbeing of families in this country, and the Government must now show the political will to make renting better for millions of people desperate for a stable home they can rely on."