Private rents in the UK reached new highs last month, with six of Britain's 12 regions posting record prices. HomeLet's July 2013 Rental Index showed the overall cost of renting a home in the UK increased by 1.8 per cent on average, taking the total to GBP 826. This is the greatest sum ever recorded and the second consecutive month the UK average has hit a new high.
Unsurprisingly London saw some of the biggest rises, with tenants now paying an average of GBP 1,297 per month. This is a monthly increase of 1.8 per cent, helping to push the median rent for the UK higher. However, Scotland, the north-west, the East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside and Wales also posted rental gains, taking averages to GBP 627, GBP 657, GBP 580, GBP 607 and GBP 603 respectively.
Andy Richards, HomeLet’s business development director, said: "Record rents have been recorded from regions across the whole of the UK, which suggests demand for rented homes is at its highest no matter which region people live in. However, Greater London remains 86.4 per cent more expensive than the rest of the UK, with tenants in the capital now paying almost GBP 1,300 per month to live in a rented home."
Increased demand has caused rents to surge, particularly in London. However, Mr Richards claims tenants are unfortunately left paying the price. While in July total earnings increased 1.3 per cent and 2.5 per cent over the year, average rents have increased by 1.8 per cent and 6.3 per cent over the same time period.
Regulation changes in the private rented sector and letting agents fees could also lead to rises in monthly costs. "Yes rental amounts are going to increase along with inflation - but it appears tenants may have to pay the price for new regulation, which ironically is supposed to make things better for them," Mr Richards said.
However, there are bright sparks emerging for tenants, with the London Rental Standard launched at the end of last month to improve the quality of homes in the capital. It is hoped this will set a precedent for the rest of the UK. While it is thought this could affect rent control, Mr Richards stresses it is important to provide decent homes for tenants.
- Friday 16 August 2013