Campaign group Generation Rent is calling for tenants who are served notice to leave a property to be compensated by landlords.
The group claims the lack of stability in private rented housing means more than a quarter of tenants can expect to lose their home through no fault of their own.
A survey carried out by BMG Research found that 27% of current and past private tenants had been evicted by a landlord who wanted to sell, refurbish or change the use of the property, or were forced to move because of a rent increase.
The most common reason for losing one’s home is the landlord deciding to sell the property (14%), followed by raising the rent so high the tenant could not afford it (7%).
Yet more than half (51%) of respondents to the survey were not aware that a private landlord can evict tenants without giving a reason, including 39% of private renters.
Almost two thirds (63%) of respondents agreed that private tenants who abided by the terms of their tenancy agreement should have an automatic right to remain in their home.
Two thirds of respondents (66%) believe that private tenants who are evicted through no fault of their own should be compensated for the cost of moving home, including 80% of private renters.
Three quarters (75%) think private landlords should be prevented from raising their tenant’s rent by more than inflation, including 84% of private renters – and 81% of pensioners.
As the Housing Bill progresses through Parliament, Generation Rent is calling on the government to change eviction law to protect tenants who face losing their home, by giving them a right to compensation, and thereby also discourage landlords from forcing them out in the first place.
Betsy Dillner, director of Generation Rent, said: “Every time a renter moves home they spin the roulette wheel. They might well get a good landlord who values long term tenants, but this poll suggests that one in four of us will end up with a bad one sooner or later. With increasing numbers of us facing a lifetime of renting, we need to be able to call the place we live a home, and we can’t until the government ends unfair evictions.”