Cost of renting in London hits new high

Rental rates for properties in London are now more expensive than ever before in comparison to the rest of the UK, research has shown.

Increased demand for properties in the capital has sent rates soaring and it is now 80 per cent more expensive to rent a property in London than the rest of the UK, according to the latest HomeLet Rental Index. Average monthly rents in London now stand at £1,177, while the average home elsewhere in the country costs just £653 per month.

Rents in the capital are now 13 per cent higher than last year, the data shows, in contrast to other UK regions where tenants can expect to pay only 1.6 per cent more than they did at the same point last year.

Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) operations manager Ian Potter said: “The increase in the number of people renting a home means it’s now more important than ever that consumers have full confidence in lettings agents, and the industry must respond to their concerns about bad practice. That’s why in the absence of regulation, we developed our own licensing scheme to ensure all ARLA members are protected against negligence.”

Most UK regions have seen rents go up, but the hikes are minimal compared to what tenants in London have been forced to pay out. Rents on properties in the North West have gone up by just 0.2 per cent over the last 12 months, but tenants in East Anglia are now paying an average of six per cent more.

Northern Ireland, Scotland and the North East have seen a fall in average rental amounts, dropping by an average of about two per cent in the last year.

HomeLet managing director John Boyle: “The soaring cost of renting a home in the capital compared to the rest of the UK reflects how demand for rental properties is increasing due to people’s continuing struggle to get onto the property ladder. Combined with the current eurozone issue, this economic uncertainty could result in the demand for rental properties increase, and cause rental amounts to soar even further. Traditionally demand for rented homes dips before Christmas - however, London is bucking this trend and demand is higher than ever.

“This demand offers a fantastic opportunity for landlords and property investors who could offer a much needed supply of rental properties to the industry. However, as Ian mentions, it is essential confidence in the industry is maintained and tenants only rent a home through a regulated letting agent.”

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