Rents in Britain have risen by an average of 2.5% in the year to May 2016, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Although the annual rate of growth is down slightly on April’s 2.6% figure, rent price rises in the UK were led by England, where rents rose by 2.6% over the 12 months to May.
Scotland experienced rent price growth of 0.4% over the year, while prices remained flat in Wales.
The average rent price in Britain during May was £512.50 per month, up from £500 a month in May last year.
Excluding London, rents in Britain were up by 2% in the 12 months to May, with prices increasing in all English regions over this period. The greatest annual rent price rise was seen in the South East, at 3.4%, up from 3.1% in April.
In the capital, rents rose by 3.3% year-on-year. However, the annual rate of growth was down from 3.7% in April. In the East of England, prices rose by 3.2%, up from 3% in the previous month.
The lowest annual rent price growth was recoded in the North East, at 0.8%, which was unchanged compared to April. The North West followed at 1.2%, up from 1.1%, while Yorkshire and the Humber also averaged 1.2%, down from 1.3% over the same period.
Since January 2011, rents in England have risen more sharply than those in Wales and Scotland. Since the start of 2012, English rent price growth has averaged between 1.4% and 3% annually, partially due to the supply-demand imbalance in the market.
If you have increased your rent prices recently, it may be worth investing in Rent Guarantee Insurance. This policy will cover your rent payments if your tenants fall into arrears.
While you may be putting your rents up to match market prices in your area, be aware that your tenants could suffer from financial difficulties at any point. Protect your income and avoid missing out on rent!