Private rents rising by 2.5% a year, says ONS

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Rents paid to private landlords in Britain went up by an average of 2.5% over the last year, the fastest rise for two-and-a-half years, figures show.

The largest increase was in London, where rents rose by 3.8% in the year to the end of June, according to The Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Excluding London, rents rose by 1.7%.

The figures - which are classified as experimental by the ONS - show rents went up by 2.1% in Scotland, and 0.8% in Wales.

Over the same period general inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), was nil.

The Money Advice Trust (MAT), which runs National Debtline, said the rise was "a real concern".

"While many households will be able to shoulder these increases in housing costs as the economic recovery continues, we fear that rent arrears will continue to increase," said Jane Tully, the head of insight and engagement at the MAT .

The housing charity Shelter said the increase in rents meant that some tenants were now paying half their monthly income to landlords.

It called on the government to build more affordable homes.

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