Average rent rises to £718

20 July 2012

Rents have risen again, leaving tenants having to scrape together an average of £718 a month in order to keep a roof over their heads.

In June, average rents rose by 0.9%, leaving them approaching the record high of £720 per calendar month hit in October 2011, according to figures from LSL Property Services.

Rents rose in all regions of England and Wales except for the South West, where they dipped by 0.3%. Wales saw the largest rise in rents of 2%.

Things are particularly tough for London's renters, who saw a rise of 0.9% last month, putting rents in the capital at a record high of £1,047 per month.

London is the region with the fastest annual rental growth, with rents up 4% since June 2011.

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Tenant demand

"The sheer weight of tenant demand continues to push up rents across the country. Lending criteria remains tight and the number of mortgages given to first-time buyers - especially those without substantial deposits - is still a long way from the level seen before the credit crunch," says David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services.

"With higher rents and the growing cost of living eroding how much tenants can save towards the large deposits required to buy, it's no surprise to see the private rented sector swelling by 262,000 households a year."

The number of people falling behind with their rent is also rising, 9.2% of all rent was late or unpaid at the end of June, compared to 8.9% in May. In total, unpaid rent in June amounted to £289 million up 5% on the previous month.

"For renters, this is yet another cloud in the gathering storm," says Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter. "Rising rents at a time when wages are flatlining means that many families are reaching crisis point, cutting back on food and other essentials just to make ends meet.

"Renting in this country is the worst of both worlds. Government figures released earlier this month show that, on average, renters pay out £75 a month more than those with a mortgage, but it's frighteningly insecure, with landlords able to evict with just two months' notice. Yet with rising numbers of hard-working families locked out of home ownership, there's no doubt that rental Britain is here to stay."

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