COUNTY NEWS: Short-term tenancies '˜unsettle' families

One in eight parents in the East and South East of England blame short rental tenancies for making their children unsettled, according to a YouGov pol.

Saturday, 18th February 2017, 10:47 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 9:28 pm

Thirteen per cent of parents surveyed said short contracts resulted in frequent and stressful house moves, in figures published by homelessness and housing charity Shelter.

The charity claims that in the past decade, the number of renting families has more than doubled, but housing instability is having a detrimental impact in terms of emotional and physical unheaval.

Tenants only have a secure home for six months, after which their landlord can ask them to leave with just two months’ notice and without a reason. This will often be through no fault of their own, such as if the rent is hiked up to an unaffordable amount, or if the landlord wants to sell, the charity added.

Close to half 45 per cent of parents worry they will have to change schools as a result of a future move.

Four in ten (40 per cent) of privately renting parents surveyed said searching for a new rented home had a negative impact on their personal life and one in ten (ten per cent) said a short-term rental negatively affected relationships with friends or family members.

The loss of private rented homes remains the single biggest cause of homelessness in England, and Shelter is calling on the government to introduce five year tenancies to give renting families more stability.

Graeme Brown, Shelter’s interim chief executive, said: “Soaring house prices mean more families are renting than ever before. But the dire state of our rental market means they can only secure a home for six months – the equivalent to just two school terms.

“Every day at Shelter we speak to parents who are forced to move, faced with yet another unsettling house move. And at the sharp end, a worrying number of renting families are becoming homeless because they can’t scrape together the money needed for a deposit on a new place. No child deserves this upheaval.

“We welcome the government’s shift towards helping struggling renting families but their plans will still leave the majority without the secure home they want and need.

“Now is the time to fix this by introducing five-year tenancies across the board, allowing families to plan and save for the future and to feel secure and settled in their homes.”

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