Rents in East of England grow faster than anywhere else in UK
- Credit: PA
Renters in the East of England face the fastest rising bills in the country as the region outpaces London for rent increases.
Private rental sector tenants' arrears have also reached the worst levels seen across England and Wales in two-and-a-half years, according to a buy-to-let index.
Tenant arrears made up 9.9pc of rents payable in August, marking the highest figure seen since December 2012, the index from estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains found.
Nationally, average rents in August were 5.5pc higher than a year ago.
And the East of England saw rents rise to £843 per month on average. The region has also overtaken London to see the fastest annual growth in rents - at 11.5pc, compared with annual growth of 10.2pc in the capital.
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But tenants in London still pay the most in cash terms, with the average rent per month at £1,278 in August.
Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: 'Rents are rising rapidly on an annual basis, underpinned by an improving economic picture for many potential tenants - and the peak lettings season is only just about to start this autumn.'
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Looking at the worsening arrears levels, Mr Gill said that many tenants who are seeing their incomes rise as the economy improves are helping to bid rents up at a time of 'rapidly growing demand' in the sector.
This in turn is making life tougher for those tenants who are not seeing the same improvement in their financial position, he said.
The latest rental arrears figure is still way below a record set in February 2010, when 14.6pc of rent due was in arrears.
The index is based on rents achieved on around 20,000 properties across England and Wales.
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