Rents set to rise 2% in 2013, though most landlords are planning a 'rent freeze'

Tenants spend around 39 per cent of their monthly take-home pay on rent

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The Independent Online

One in four landlords intend to put their rents up in 2013, according to new figures from Rightmove, with just over a third of these planning to raise it more than 5 per cent

Around 60 per cent of landlords say they will keep rents at existing levels.

Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove said: “The widening gap between tenant demand and rental property supply over the last few years has fuelled upwards pressure on rents. However, the majority of landlords now seem to be prepared to exercise constraint. Lettings agents still report consistently high demand but more are warning landlords of the risks of squeezing tenants’ finances too hard.

"However, some tenants in rental hotspots like London and Manchester may bear the brunt of higher rises. This combination of apparent benevolence and bullish hotspots may give a less racy rent rise outlook overall, but does not mask the fact that some tenants are again in for a rent rise shock.”

Rightmove found that, on average, existing tenants spend around 39 per cent of their monthly take-home pay on rent and more than a fifth spend more than half of their monthly earnings.

“Landlords need to weigh up whether it is better to ‘stick’ and hold rents for a model tenant or ‘twist’ and chance a rise and run the risk of ending up with a less desirable occupant," added Shipside.

The report also suggests that 59 per cent of existing tenants would like to buy but cannot afford to do so, the highest level Rightmove has recorded since it started its quarterly rental surveys in 2010.