Rents have risen for a fifth consecutive month to reach a new record high of £734 a month.
LSL, reporting this morning on the August market, said that average rents were up 1.2% on July, hitting new peaks in five regions – London, the South-East, East of England, North-West, and Yorkshire & the Humber.
Rents fell in only two regions, Wales and the West Midlands.
Despite the added strain on tenants’ finances, rent arrears actually fell for the first time in three months.
LSL, parent company of Your Move and Reeds Rains agency chains, said that average rents in England and Wales were up 2.9% compared with August last year.
LSL estimates that tenant finances improved in August, with 9% of all rent late or unpaid, down from 9.3% in July.
The firm estimates that landlords were receiving an average total annual return of 5.3% on a rental property in August, assuming a capital gain of £863 over the year and rent of £7,853.
But Shelter expressed its disquiet over the news.
Chief executive Campbell Robb said: “At a time when wages are stagnating, this latest rise in rents is another blow to the millions of people priced out of a home of their own and left at the mercy of an overheated rental market.
“Many of these people will be struggling to keep a roof over their head, let alone save enough for a deposit on a home of their own.”