250,000 private renting families in England are becoming burdened with serious debt because they have to move house so frequently, according to Shelter.
New research from the housing charity says private renting is so unstable, short and expensive that families are being forced to move too frequently.

One in four (255,944) renting families are taking on bank debts such as credit cards and overdrafts, and sometimes even payday loans, to cover the cost of constant home moves. These debts make renters more vulnerable to changes in the economy and potential rises in interest rates.On average, each family has to pay out more than £1,400 in move costs for things like removal vans, paying rent on two properties, cleaning costs and having to buy new furniture.

The research also shows that 44% of renting families worry about losing their home – shedding light on the psychological impact and torment caused by short unstable contracts.

Shelter is calling on the government to introduce five-year tenancies as standard which would help renters clear their debt and give millions of families more security. Polly Neate, Shelter chief executive, said “It’s heart breaking that families are being forced into unaffordable debt just to cover all the costs of moving house so frequently, thanks to short unstable contracts. We speak to parents every day who want nothing more than to have control over their lives, and provide stability – both financially and in a settled home – for their children, but instead are constantly forced into packing up and moving on.”

“The government can change all this by updating laws to offer renters longer and more stable contracts, giving them and their children a secure place to call home and a brighter future.”