UK rents are highest in Europe
UK rents are the highest in Europe at £730 (€902) a month, research from the National Housing Federation (NHF) has revealed.
In fact, tenants renting private property are paying almost double the amount their peers on the continent do (€481).
UK private rents remain expensive when compared to other Western European countries with tenants on similar incomes.
German and Dutch rents are around 50% lower – at €600 and €625 respectively – despite both countries having a large share of privately-rented households, according to the NHF.
British renters are also forking out a much higher proportion of their income on rent than their European counterparts, at 40% on average compared to 28% across the EU, with the Germans paying just 25% of their income in rent. Meanwhile, in newer EU countries, such as Slovakia, Latvia and Slovenia, the average household spends less than 17% of their income on rent.
Burdens on households
Gerald Koessl, research officer at the National Housing Federation, said: "Individuals and families have to spend the equivalent of around 23 minutes out of every hour worked to pay for their rent, while it is around 17 minutes of every hour worked across the whole of Europe."
He added: "This puts a burden on household budgets. As a smaller proportion of households are buying a home and more are privately renting, the cost of renting is a concern."
Earlier this month, it was reported that 60% of UK tenants saw their rent increase by an average of £84 at the end of each tenancy period and 13% were charged a fee to extend their existing contracts. The average fee to stay in the same home was £117, according to Ocean Finance.
Its research revealed that, with half of tenants staying in the same house for five years or more, the increase in fees alone could see them pay £600 in letting agents’ fees merely to remain under the same roof.
The Office for National Statistics reported private rents increased by 2.1% in the year to March 2015.