Charity calls for more security for tenants

by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlords could soon be forced to introduce lower prices on their portfolio of properties after a charity called for more security for tenants following the release of new figures revealing the cost of renting rose to a record high in August.

According to a study carried out by LSL Property Services, the average price increased to £734 per month in England and Wales, representing a 2.9 per cent rise from the same period in 2011.

The figures revealed August was the fifth consecutive month that the cost of leasing had risen for frustrated buyers, which has spurred campaigners to call for long-term tenancy agreements.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of homeless charity Shelter, said five-year tenancies should be brought in to reassure families and allow them to turn "rented houses into homes".

Mr Robb said the possibility of eviction with short notice and constant worries about price hikes is causing unease among renters, particularly those who are forced into the market due to being unable to afford to purchase a property.

He said the introduction of the Stable Rental Contract offers individuals the reassurance of a five-year tenancy and gives proprietors more confidence in a steady income within the existing legal framework.

In addition, the industry figurehead stated that the documents should still allow property owners to evict bad tenants or to sell up, while also offering residents the chance to leave with two months' notice.

The LSL report also showed costs for tenants have been rising considerably, with the average rent in August 1.2 per cent higher than the previous month - which could provide added strain for cash-strapped Britons.

Commenting on the latest rental figures, national statistician Jil Matheson said: "Good quality statistics are essential for making informed decisions on housing, from central government planning to private individuals deciding whether to move, rent or buy."

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Published on: September 21, 2012

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