The cost of renting a property in England and Wales rose twice as fast as weekly earnings in the 11-months to November, as landlords cashed in on insatiable demand for homes.
The average rent now stands at £753 per month, signalling a 1.6 per cent increase from a year earlier, according to LSL Property Services.
That is twice the 0.8 per cent increase in wages over the same period, taking the average monthly pay packet to £1,941, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Landlords made a record 8.9 per cent return over the last twelve months, or £14,592, as demand continues to outstrip supply, with rental income coming in at £8,243 and capital gain of £6,349, according to the report.
London topped the most expensive location to rent, with prices rising by 4.4 per cent, closely followed by the South West and South East at 3.4 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively.
LSL Property Services David Newnes said: “Homes of all tenures have become more expensive for more people,that's partly because the UK is poorer than it was five years ago,"
"But fundamentally, housing is also becoming more expensive because there aren't enough homes to keep up with an expanding population."
Meanwhile, prices in eastern England fell 5.5 per cent over the last year, followed by a 2.8 per cent annual drop in the West Midlands.
Average rents in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber also declined by 2 per cent, signalling a continuation of the North-South divide.