Landlords have increased rents by nearly 12 per cent over the last year, according to an index of housing costs.

The average rent for new tenancies in the three months to July 2015 was £977 – 11.8 per cent higher than the same period last year.

The figures, from the HomeLet rental index, show that rents are still dramatically outstripping wage growth in the UK.

Even more rent rises could be ahead for tenants after an academic study commissioned by councils found that the Government’s policy of selling off council properties would drive rents up again.

The lack of council housing caused by such a sell-off would in turn would lead to increased pressure on privately rented homes, the researchers from Liverpool Economics found.

According to an earlier survey by the firm Rentify some landlords separately hope to raise rents even further to make up profits from cuts to tax breaks.

The breakdown of the latest figures from the HomeLet index suggest that sharply rising rents are spreading from being purely a London phenomenon to the rest of the country.

“The July HomeLet Rental Index demonstrates just how broad-based the rise in rent prices has now become – this is a UK wide trend,” said Martin Totty, CEO of the Barbon Insurance Group, the parent company of HomeLet.

“Regions which have long been associated with a buoyant rentals sector, such as London, continue to experience rising prices, but rents are also rising in many other parts of the country at similar rates.”

He noted that the South West of England was showing a particularly sharp rise in rents on the back of people attracted to the area for “lifestyle reasons”.

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