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Four in ten renters paying £1,200 above advertised rate for their home

New polling shows one fifth of private tenants have also experienced rent hikes mid-way through a tenancy without their agreement

The desperate state of the private rental market in England has been laid bare, with new polling which shows four in ten households renting privately (39%) that moved within the last year are paying an average £1,200 a year above the advertised rate for their property.

The polling, carried out for the New Economics Foundations (NEF), shows how those looking for homes to rent are often forced into bidding wars which severely hikes the price they pay for the property, and leaves others completely priced out.

The survey, of 1,001 people across England, also shows:

  • 39% of private renters that have moved in the last year are paying above the advertised rent for their property. The median amount paid over the asking rent by the household is £100 a month (12%). The mean amount is £190 a month.

  • 45% of new private renters had to pay more than one month of rent upfront to secure their home

  • 21% have seen their rent hiked mid-way through a tenancy without their agreement

  • 38% of new private tenants live in homes suffering from damp or mould

  • 17% were charged a fee to view the property while 19% were asked for a copy of their CV.

Alex Diner, senior researcher at NEF, said:

Everybody deserves to be able to afford a safe, secure and warm place to live, but this data shows just how difficult it can be for many people to find somewhere to call home.

The lack of affordable housing across the country forces people to enter into bidding wars, which end up meaning the rent they pay goes through the roof. And all too often, the properties they end up living in are cold and damp, with landlords who are not always willing to help.

Not only must the government stop backsliding on its commitment to reform the private rental sector, it also has an opportunity to make a real difference here. In the short term, ministers must take action to ban these bidding wars. In the long term, building a new generation of high-quality, genuinely affordable social homes would ease the pressures on the housing market and provide people across the country with somewhere to live, rest and flourish.”



The New Economics Foundation is a charitable think tank. We are wholly independent of political parties and committed to being transparent about how we are funded.

Fieldwork was conducted by Survation between 16th October and 16th November.

Of the 1,001 respondents, 39% reported paying more than the advertised rent, 43% paid the same, and 19% paid less.

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