Rents are rising throughout England and Wales for the first time since November 2011, according to LSL Property Services.
The strongest increases were in London, where rents are 7.6 per cent higher than a year ago, followed by annual rises of 5.0 per cent in Wales and 4.1 per cent in the East Midlands.
David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, owners of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, says: "Rents everywhere are higher than a year ago – at a time when pay is creeping up at the slowest rate in years. But some regions, such as Wales, are suffering more than others.
"Landlords across the UK have increased the stock of rental properties by around 10 per cent since 2008 – but the more fundamental squeeze is still coming from a lack of new buildings."
Matt Hutchinson, director of spareroom.co.uk – the house share website – added that the rental rises reflected the continued difficulty for people to get on the property ladder. "The cogs of the property market still haven't been properly oiled and the rental sector is taking the strain," Mr Hutchinson said. "Demand continues to outstrip supply, with tenants staying in properties for longer and a lack of new rental stock coming on to the market."