Tenants across Britain are set to face record rent increases as the cost-of-living crisis deepens. The national average rent is now 15 per cent higher than when the coronavirus pandemic started in early 2020, according to the figures published by the property listings website Rightmove.
In areas outside of London average rent was £1,088 a month for the first quarter of 2022, up 10.8 per cent from the same time last year. This is the first time annual growth has exceeded 10 per cent, Rightmove said.
The largest increases were in Wales and the South West and North West of England, which all had rises of 18 per cent since early 2020.
In London the average asking rent increased by 14.3 per cent year-on-year -- although it had fallen during the pandemic -- setting a new record of £2,193. Demand from tenants has soared by 81 per cent since the pandemic while the number of available properties to rent has fallen by 47 per cent, creating what Rightmove described as the “most competitive rental market ever recorded”.
Yesterday (13 April) the Commons Public Accounts Committee published a scathing report on the state of private rented housing. More than 580,000 privately rented properties in the country posed “a serious threat to the health and safety of renters”, costing the NHS an estimated £340m each year, the MPs' report said. The report also highlighted a “postcode lottery” for safety, with 21 per cent of rented homes in Yorkshire and the Humber displaying category one hazards, compared with 9 per cent in London.
“Unsafe conditions, overcrowding, harassment, discrimination and dodgy evictions are still a huge issue in the private rented sector,” said Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the committee. “And yet the sector is a growing provider of homes and rents keep rising, meaning that safe, suitable housing is too often out of reach for renters.”