According to the latest Buy-to-Let index from LSL Property Services plc, which owns the UK's largest lettings agent network, the average rent in England & Wales rose by 0.1% in January to £712 per month. This is the first January monthly rise since LSL first began compiling the index.
As a result of this increase annual rent inflation rose to 4.3% from 4% in December. Rents rose fastest in the East Midlands and the South West, where they increased by 1.8% and 1.5% respectively. Rents rose by 0.8% in London where they have only fallen once in the last 13 months. However, rents fell in four regions with the biggest declines in the East of England (1.7%) and Wales (1.5%)
In the last 12 months rents have increased in all regions of England & Wales with the exception of the North East where rents fell by 0.7%
However, all is not rosy for landlords, whilst rents are on the increase property prices are still falling, which will affect total annual returns. In January total annual returns dipped to 2.6% which is the same level as November 2011.
Rental arrears also remained high in January with 10.7% of all rents late or unpaid at the end of the month. This is above the average of 10.2% for the last 12 months.