Landlords aiming to put up rents

The cost of being a tenant looks set to continue rising, with four out of 10 landlords planning to hike their rents during the coming year.

Around 41 per cent of landlords in the private sector said they expected to increase rents during the next 12 months on the back of strong levels of tenant demand, according to buy-to-let lender the Paragon Group.

A further 55 per cent of landlords plan to maintain rents at their current level, with just 4 per cent saying they will reduce the amount they charge.

Nearly a third of buy-to-let investors claim they will hike their rents by up to 4 per cent, while 10 per cent hope to increase them by between 4 per cent and 8 per cent.

Rents soared to record levels during the second half of 2010, as the supply of rental property failed to keep pace with demand.

The number of people looking to rent a home shows no sign of easing, with would-be buyers continuing to struggle to raise the mortgages they need.

Nigel Terrington, chief executive of the Paragon Group, said: "Landlords are in a strong position.

"Tenant demand has risen faster than supply during 2010 and that is expected to continue well into 2011."