Unsettled and insecure: the toll insecure private renting is taking on English families

Document type
Bibby, John
Date of publication
1 February 2017
Housing and Homelessness, Families
Social welfare
Material type

Download (205KB )

This briefing outlines the impact of insecure private renting on families with children in England. 

The stable home, with safety, security for planning and settling down is not guaranteed for the 2.5 Mio families who live in the private rented sector. Families living in rented accommodation live with short term tenancy contracts of periods between six and twelve months length. England’s renting laws are outdated, stemming from times when renting was for people who only needed temporary accommodation.

This briefing details research findings about the impact the short term tenancy has for families with children, the profound effect of insecurity, even before families are evicted or forced to move, the worry, the financial insecurity and effect on children’s schooling.

And whilst the current law is outdated, the number of families living in rented accommodation nowadays is actually steadily growing.

The only solution to this unsettling situation, Shelter proposes, is a change to the renting laws, along the lines of the Stable Rental Contract, offering families a five year period of security and protection from no-fault eviction.

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