Rents across England and Wales are now 15.2 per cent higher than at the time of the last General Election in May 2010 - outstripping the rate of inflation during the same period.
Data from Your Move and Reeds Rains shows that since May 2010 consumer price inflation has amounted to 11.6 per cent, leaving a 3.6 per cent increase in rents over five years after the effects of inflation.
Most recently, rents now stand at £768 per month as of March 2015. Annual rent rises have accelerated to the fastest pace in two years, with the average rent across England and Wales now up 3.7 per cent over the last 12 months.
The last time rents rose so quickly was in the year to April 2013.
Over the past month, rents have risen by 0.3 per cent and are now just £2 away from the all-time record high of £770 per month, set in October 2014.
Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, says: “Since 2010 the private rented sector has absorbed over a million extra households. With social housing in decline, alongside a parallel decay in the number of people owning their own home with a mortgage, private renting has stood in to fill the gap. With only small real-terms rent rises, this has generally been a success – and tenants are now half as likely to fall behind on rent as at the peak of the financial crisis.”
However, Gill say the private rental sector is carrying the weight of the current housing crisis and will see faster rent rises in future if supply doesn’t keep up.
“Without more homes every year to match a rising population, housing will inevitably become more expensive. And with one in five households now renting privately, this section of the population won’t be an exception to those fundamentals” he says.