Countrywide says that last month the cost of a new let was 2.6 per cent higher than in the same month last year, the fastest January increase for two years
This January saw 36 per cent of landlords increase the rent when signing a new tenancy, up from 27 per cent a year earlier.
Rental growth has been led by areas outside London, with rents in the capital 2.7 per cent lower than they were last year.
The three regions with the fastest growing rents were Wales (up 8.8 per cent on the year to January), the South East (up 8.2 per cent) and the East of England (up 7.8 per cent).
“Rents are rising at twice the pace of last January and there are signs that rental growth is starting to pick up in much of the country” explains Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide.
“Ten months after the introduction of the stamp duty surcharge the number of homes on the rental market is showing signs of coming down. If this fall continues over the next few months, it is likely to support rental price growth” he adds.