Private sector rents up 2.5%

Rents paid to private landlords in Britain went up by an average of 2.5% over the last year, new figures from The Office for National Statistics (ONS) show. This is the fastest rise for 2½ years.

Unsurprisingly, the largest increase was in London, where rents rose by 3.8% in the year to the end of June. Rents went up by 2.5% in England, 2.1% in Scotland, and 0.8% in Wales.

These increases come in a period in which general inflation was zero.

The Money Advice Trust (MAT), which runs National Debtline, said the rise was “a real concern”. MAT’s head of insight and engagement Jane Tully said: “While many households will be able to shoulder these increases in housing costs as the economic recovery.

Shelter called on the Government to build more affordable homes, saying the increase in rents meant some tenants were now paying half their monthly income to landlords.

Spark Energy CEO Chris Gauld said: “With rents rising so quickly, tenants have to think how to keep utility bills low. Only 23% of tenants ever switch energy suppliers, with many failing to realise they have the right to choose who provides their gas and electricity. By accessing the right tariff, big savings can be made.”

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