Mon to Thurs 8am-9pm, Fri 8am-6pm and Sat 8.30am-2.30pm
Monthly rents over £700
Rents are rising. Across England and Wales, the average private tenant was paying £712 per month in May.
This means rents have increased 2.3% over the previous year, putting a lot of pressure on many families' monthly budgets. The figures come from LSL Property Services, a letting agency, which reported that tenants in - unsurprisingly - the South East and London were facing the steepest rent increases.
LSL's David Newnes commented on the figures, pointing out that quite a few different factors were pushing rents up.
The level that rental payments have reached makes it even harder for would-be homeowners to save up the hefty deposit they need to buy a property, especially since they're seeing such small returns on their savings these days. And since fewer of them are able to get on the housing ladder, there's stronger demand for rental properties - which in turn pushes rents even higher.
"A 2.3% annual increase might not seem huge," said a spokesperson for the IVA Advisory Centre. "It's actually below the CPI inflation figure of 2.8% - but having said that, rent is a major expense, so even a small percentage increase can have quite an impact on a household's finances.
"We'd urge anyone in debt who can't afford their costs anymore to get some professional debt advice. There may be a solution, such as a debt management plan or IVA [Individual Voluntary Arrangement], that can help them bring their finances back in line and work on paying off their debts."
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