Troubling figures have emerged from this month’s HomeLet Rental Index, which indicates West Midlands rents have risen by +2.1% in one month alone. Average rents are now £975pcm. Experts warn that these trends are symptomatic of the UK’s rental crisis, which shows no sign of abating.

The increase works out at £20pcm extra being paid out by the average West Midlands tenant. These increases mean UK renters can now expect to pay 31% of their wages in rent. Despite the Bank of England predicting a drop in inflation, the data is showing that for West Midlands renters, the situation only looks to worsen.

Across the country, rent has increased by +7.9% in the last year alone, and by +35.8% since pre-pandemic rates (January 2020, when the average monthly rent was £953pcm). In the West Midlands, figures have increased by 10% in 12 months.

Andy Halstead, CEO of HomeLet and Let Alliance believes this could be a sign of worse things to come for the housing market in the West Midlands.

He says: “A trajectory like this could see rental prices increase by almost 20% over the next 12 months, which would be the equivalent of almost £200 more being paid out each month by the average West Midlands tenant. This puts the country in a clear ‘cost of renting crisis’ and the Government must act to provide landlords and tenants with the clarity they so desperately need.”

The news comes after the Renters (Reform) Bill recently passed a long-awaited third reading in the House of Commons before moving on to the House of Lords for consideration. With landlords and tenants eager for clarity over the Bill’s key pledge to scrap so-called “no fault” evictions (Section 21 notices), its slow progress through Parliament only serves to prolong the current chaos within the private rented sector, according to Mr Halstead.

“Over the course of the last five years, since the scrapping of Section 21 notices was first mooted by the Government, the private rented sector has become increasingly more chaotic. While this is just one issue among many that fuels the chaos, ministers need to understand that uncertainty and delays to important legislation like the Renters (Reform) Bill create uncertainty. That leads to landlord churn and market volatility.

“This has reduced the available rental stock and driven up rents as more renters compete for fewer rental properties. Until a clear date for the abolition of Section 21 notices is confirmed, many more landlords are likely to lose patience and sell up altogether. This will only inflate rental prices further – a situation the country can scarcely afford.”

The full breakdown of rent increases, variances and rent-to-income ratios can be found on the HomeLet website.

The HomeLet Rental Index provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date data on rental values in the UK. Unlike some vendors that only collate advertised rent data, the trends reported within the HomeLet Rental Index are from data on actual achieved rental values for just-agreed tenancies arranged in the most recent period. This provides the most in-depth insight into the lettings market and what’s happening right now across the UK.