Shelter reveals that some short-term tenancy parents say children feel unsettled


More than one in 10 renting parents in England on short-term tenancies say these contracts have stopped their children feeling settled, according to research from Shelter.

The charity found 12% of parents privately renting with tenancies of 12 months or less felt this way, with some worrying their child would have to change schools due to a future move.

Nearly half (46%) of parents who had moved in the past five years said searching for a new rented home had a negative impact on their personal life and 12% said a short-term rental had negatively affected relationships with friends or family members.

Shelter wants to see five-year tenancy agreements put in place, which it argues would give renting families more stability.

The Government recently unveiled plans to boost housing, including helping renters, including making it easier for developers to offer affordable private rental homes and offering renters more long-term "family friendly" tenancies.

A recent report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) found rental prices are expected to rise faster than house prices over the next five years.

Graeme Brown, Shelter's interim chief executive, said: "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."

He said five-year tenancies would allow families to feel secure and settled.

Shelter highlighted a case it has seen of a couple with three young children who have moved nine times in the past 12 years.

The mother, called Emma, said: "Renting is so expensive and the little we manage to save gets spent when we hit a bump in the road."

More than 3,200 people took part in Shelter's survey, including nearly 600 parents with a rental contract of 12 months or less.

A Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) spokesman said: "The majority of private sector tenants are happy with the service they receive, and our model tenancy agreement supports those tenants and landlords who want longer rental deals.

"However, this Government is determined to improve safeguards and security for all tenants. That's why we will also ban letting fees, drive the worst landlords out the market and encourage longer tenancies on new rental properties."