31st July 2015
Official figures show monthly rents have risen at their strongest pace for more than two years.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics show in the 12 months since June 2014 rents increased 2.5%, the strongest rate of annual growth recorded since 2013.
A tenant paying £500 a month last year will now be paying £512.50, well above inflation which fell back to zero last month.
Private rents increased 2.5% in England, 2.1% in Scotland and 0.8% in Wales according to the data.
Price hikes were mostly keenly felt in the capital, with London rents rising 3.8% over the past year as rising property prices mean more people are priced out of the housing market and forced into the rental sector.
Rents increased 0.5% in the North East and North West, 0.7% in Yorkshire and the Humber, 1.4% in the East Midlands, 1.7% in the West Midlands and 2.6% in the East. The South saw rises of 2.5% and the South West of 1.8%.
Since 2011, when the ONS introduced a rental index, rents have increased 10.2%.
Jane Tully of the Money Advice Trust, which runs National Debtline, said: ‘While many households will be able to shoulder these increases in housing costs as the economic recovery continues, we fear that rent arrears will continue to increase.’
Tully said the proportion of clients seeking help with rent arrears has almost doubled from 6% in 2007 to nearly 13% in 2014.
‘With interest rate rises possibly only a few months away, we also expect to see additional pressure on private renters’ budgets as landlords pass on these extra costs to their tenants,’ she said.