Buy to Let

Over half of private tenants faced rent hikes in last year

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

The cost of living crisis is hitting private tenants hard, as rents rise by an average 9.7%

Over half of those in privately rented properties in England (over 50.6%) saw their rent rise in the year to February 2023, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

This was up from 36% a year earlier.

The proportion that experienced a price increase was highest in London (66.8%) and lowest in the North West (27.9%).

The average percentage increase in rent was 9.7%, up from 7% in February 2022 but, in London, a third of private renters saw a price hike of 10% or more, and the average rise was 12%. Across the country a fifth of renters saw a rent rise of 10% or more.

Sarah Coles, head of personal finance at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Runaway rents are crushing the finances of those trapped in increasingly expensive homes. More than half of tenants have seen their rents hiked in the past year, and on average they’re up 10%. It’s no wonder that they face such huge challenges to make ends meet – let alone get onto the property ladder.

“The figures in London are particularly painful, with more than two thirds of rents hiked an average of 12%. Given that private renting is far more common in London – at 29% compared to an average of 19% – the impact is felt even more widely.”

Myron Jobson, senior personal finance analyst at interactive investor, added: “Soaring rents and expensive food prices are driving inflation, and this inflationary pressure will only grow as more renters sign contracts with a higher cost burden. Rising interest rates could also pile more misery on tenants. As well as pushing up mortgage costs for homeowners, the base rate hike could also see a rise in rents as landlords seek to cover their own rising costs.

“It is becoming increasingly important for tenants to plan ahead to ensure they don’t find themselves in a position where they can no longer afford their rent.

“It is worth having a conversation with your landlord to see if you should expect an increase in rent when your contract is up for renewal. Don’t be afraid to haggle. Finding a new tenant could come at a considerable cost to landlords and keeping you as a tenant could be the most economical solution for both parties.”