Tenant demand has soared in northern and central England over the past year, catching up with the south as hotbeds of rental activity.
Research by Sequence Lettings has revealed that while demand has continued to be strong in London and the south, the number of people looking to rent in the northern and central regions of the country has risen by 22% and 31% respectively.
Tough conditions in the mortgage market have seen a clear uplift in the number of people seeking properties to rent, and the upward trend continues into 2011.
In February, the number of people looking to rent a home rose by 8% compared with the same period a year ago.
"With the number of UK households increasing and continued uncertainty over jobs and the economy, we have seen a trend of people renting for longer," Stephen Nation, divisional managing director for Sequence Lettings, said.
The increase in the number of people looking to rent pushed the average price of a monthly letting up to £684 per month in February, figures from LSL Property Services show.
This is despite the early months of a new year usually seeing a lull in prices. Some 3.4 million people across the UK are currently privately renting – a figure that has risen by 40% over the last five years alone.
This sharp increase has seen the number of tenants experiencing problems with their landlords increase.
Shelter says it has seen a worrying 23% rise in the number of people seeking help to resolve problems with their landlords in the last year.
As a result, the housing charity has called on Housing Minister Grant Shapps to produce a clear plan to tackle rogue landlords and show his commitment to private tenants by ensuring that all local authorities sign up to a minimum standard accreditation scheme.
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