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A new version of Britain's five-year private rental contract should be introduced to give people living in the squeezed sector greater stability, a major charity says.
Shelter says a new type of tenancy called the Stable Rental Contract should become the norm across the rental market in England to help tenants put down roots and give landlords greater certainty over returns.
It suggests that under the five-year contract rents should increase in line with inflation each year, giving tenants and landlords predictable outgoings and incomes.
Shelter said on Thursday the contract should also include flexible terms so tenants can leave after two months' notice and landlords should be able to end the tenancy if they want to sell the property or evict bad tenants.
The call came as a separate study found private UK rents soared for the fifth month in a row in August to reach a new high - this amid renewed pressure caused by a wave of graduates entering the market, with would-be buyers struggling to get on the property ladder.
Typical monthly rents increased by 2.9 per cent year-on-year to reach 734 in August in England and Wales, according to lettings network LSL Property Services, which owns chains including Your Move and Reeds Rains.
Shelter said a generation of people who have been "locked out of home ownership" should be offered a better deal.
It found over the last 15 years, the number of people renting their home from a landlord has almost doubled to 8.5 million people in England, with nearly a third of renters being families with children.
The charity found that 35 per cent of renting families worry about their landlord ending their contract before they are ready to move out and one tenant described the experience as like "walking on eggshells".
Two-thirds of those surveyed said they would like the option of remaining in their home for the longer-term but the current typical time spent in a rented home is just 20 months, Shelter said.
Based on information provided by and with the permission of the Western Australian Land Information Authority (2013) trading as Landgate.