The price of renting has risen 60% faster than the increase in wages in Britain, as the pressures on private renting deepens.
The figures released by charity Shelter also showed that private rents have risen by 16% since 2011, whereas average wages have only risen by 10%.
The problem is now spreading from London to “middle England” areas and cities like Bristol, Cambridge and Birmingham. Towns like Tunbridge Wells, Kingston Upon Thames and Milton Keynes have seen a rapid increase in people not being able to afford rent, while their wages remain stagnant.
Greg Beales, the campaign director at Shelter, has called for politicians to “sit up and take notice” in the rising number of people renting privately.
“With this surge in private renters the housing market has shifted massively and yet as a country we’ve failed to respond,” he said.
“This has resulted in consecutive governments focusing on better-off home owners while not doing enough for hardpressed renters. We need politicians of all parties to sit up and take notice of the rising numbers of renters, and ensure they’re doing all they can to protect them.”
In Tunbridge Well rents are now 19% higher with wages decreasing by 9%; Elmbridge in Surrey had the second biggest gap, with rents rising by 21%, but wages dropping to 15%.
In Barking and Dagenham the data analysed has shown that average rents have gone up by 42% between 2011 and 2017, with the average household wage only going up by 2%.
In Maidstone and Ashford, a property tycoon said he will be putting an extra £50 on tenants’ rents “immediately” in response to the Bank of England increasing interest rates from 0.5% to 0.75%.
The move by Fergus Wilson will see a 5% rise for tenants who were paying £1,000 a month and a 6.7% for those paying £750.
“Following the interest rate rise I have increased rents in all our properties by £50 per month,” he said.
“It is merely passing onto the tenant the additional mortgage charge. This increase starts immediately.”