Landlords urged to cap rents and give 5 year leases

Landlords are being urged to accept five year tenancy agreements and rent rise caps by a housing charity.

Shelter claims many landlords would welcome the new agreements, while tenants would have more stability and would stay in their homes for longer.

The report, which the charity calls The Stable Rental Contract would:

  • Last five years to give renters the chance to put down roots
  • Increase rents in line with inflation each year, giving landlords predictable incomes and renters predictable outgoings
  • Give landlords confidence that they can easily evict genuinely bad tenants
  • Allow landlords to end the tenancy if they sell the property
  • Give renters flexibility, allowing them to give two months notice to leave.

Shelter argues researchers gathered new evidence to identify the need for a better deal for renters and buy to let landlords.

The figures show, says the report, that during the past 15 years, the number of renters has nearly doubled to 8.5 million tenants, and nearly a third are families with children.

Shelter found 35% of renters worry about having to move before they are ready to go, while one in four renters (28%) feel rented homes are unsuitable for bringing up children.

Although 66% of renters say they would like to stay in their homes for longer, the average stay in 20 months.

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.

“The Stable Rental Contract offers renters the stability of a five year tenancy and gives landlords more confidence in a steady income, all within the existing legal framework. Turning rented houses into homes should be a priority for everyone who cares about the wellbeing of families in this country, and government must now show the political will to make renting better for millions of people desperate for a stable home they can rely on.”