House rents soar to a record level

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The Independent Online

Rents in Britain have reached a record high after rising for the fourth month in a row during May.

The average cost of renting a property rose by 0.5 per cent in May to £696 per month, a £30 increase from the same time last year, according to the UK's biggest lettings agent network LSL Property Services.

The increase is attributed to rising inflation and high house prices, which lead to an increase in demand for rental properties. Many who would in the past have been in a position to buy a house are having to put their plans on hold while they raise the large deposits needed.

David Newnes, the estate agency managing director of LSL Property Services, said: "Soaring inflation has taken its toll on would-be buyers' deposit funds. The rocketing cost of living, combined with the ongoing difficulty first-time buyers are experiencing in obtaining a mortgage is increasing the number reliant on rental accommodation.

"With the fierce competition for homes, rental gazumping is becoming more commonplace and properties are being let beyond asking price."

The research comes a week after the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said growing numbers of tenants were finding themselves priced out of the market as rents continued to be pushed up by strong demand and a shortage of supply.