Landlords put rents up by 8% last year – and even more in London

The new figures make grim reading for tenants

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Private landlords increased the rents they charge tenants by 8.2% last year, new government figures suggest.

The Government’s housing survey found that the average weekly rent for a property in England rose from £163 to £176.30.

But the rate of increase was even higher in London, with the average weekly rent hitting £280, up from £258.30 – an 8.4% rise.

The English Housing Survey is conducted annually by the Government’s Department for Communities and Local Government.

By the end of 2014 CPI inflation fell to a below-target 0.5%, meaning the large rise will hit tenants particularly sharply.

Polling conducted earlier this year found that the overwhelming majority of people support the introduction of legal rent controls on privately rented housing.

According to a survey by the pollster Survation only 6.8% of British people are against the idea of caps, with 59% in favour.

Labour had pledged to limit rent rises but not to reduce rents. The Green Party supports rent controls, as do some senior Labour members including former shadow minister Diane Abbott.

The Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, and Ukip are against rent controls.

The campaign group Generation Rent says landlords receive a total of £27bn in subsidies from the government in terms of mortgage interest tax breaks, capital gains tax loopholes, and housing benefit payments.

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