A minimum tenancy term of three years would be introduced under government proposals to give people renting homes in England more security.
Figures show 80% of tenants currently have contracts of six or 12 months and ministers say longer agreements would allow them to put down more roots.
They add tenants would be able to leave earlier under the plans while landlords would get more financial security.
Labour says the plans do not go far enough and rent rises should be capped.
A consultation on the minimum tenancy term will run until the end of the August.
Exemptions to the rules could apply to some types of tenant - for instance those in student accommodation.
Government figures show renters do stay in a property for an average of four years but most have shorter contracts.
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: "It is deeply unfair when renters are forced to uproot their lives or find new schools for their children at short notice due to the terms of their rental contract.
"Being able to call your rental property your home is vital to putting down roots and building stronger communities."
Shadow housing secretary John Healey said: "Any fresh help for renters is welcome but this latest promise is meaningless if landlords can still force tenants out by hiking up the rent.
He said Labour plans included controls on rents, an end to no-fault evictions and protection against substandard properties.