A BBC investigation claims that people living in the private rental sector spend more than a third of their disposable income on rent across large parts of England.
The corporation says the average rent of a one-bedroom property in almost half of all districts, boroughs and cities would cost more than 30 per cent of the median take-home salary for the area.
The BBC analysed the average rents for different types of property in each local authority area and the median weekly wage for those areas, using figures published by the Office for National Statistics.
It found that renting just a modest studio flat exceeds 30 per cent of take-home pay in every London borough except Bexley.
The cost of a studio exceeds £1,000 a month in Camden, Hackney, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Westminster, while renting a room in a house or flat would swallow up more than 30 per cent of the average disposable income in 15 of London's 32 boroughs
It is impossible to rent a one, two or three bed property within the recommended limits across the whole of the capital. In 24 London boroughs and the City of London, a one-bedroom property would consume more than half your disposable income, the investigation concludes.
The average cost of renting a room in a flat or a house in London is £607 a month, compared to £424 across the South East; the most expensive places to rent a room in the South East are large parts of Surrey, Oxfordshire and Tunbridge Wells in Kent.
Renting a one bedroom property in the South East would be impossible within recommended limits everywhere except Medway, Hastings, Rother, Gosport, Dover, Shepway, Thanet and the Isle of Wight.
The BBC figures show 142 out of 324 areas where the average rent for a one bedroom property was higher than 30 per cent of take-home wage. None were in the north of the country except Manchester, Salford and York.
The cheapest place to rent a room was Hyndburn in Lancashire (£271). In Chorlton in Greater Manchester, a one bedroom apartment has gone on the market for £395 a month
But the rental cost of a one-bedroom property exceeds 30 per cent of disposable income in Nottingham, Northampton, Warwickshire, Stratford upon Avon, Redditch, Warwick and Birmingham.