More than one in three tenants in the UK spend at least half their salary on rent, according to new data from flat-share site SpareRoom.
Its poll of 11,000 private renters reveals that 81% spend more than 30% of their take-home pay on rent, leaving them '�rent burdened', meaning they are likely to have difficulties affording essentials such as food, transport and medical care because rent is eating up their disposable income.
The data also shows that there has been a shift in what is considered reasonable; between 2019 to 2021, the percentage of renters who classified their rent as unaffordable was about one in three, but now 54% deem their rent to be unaffordable.
Women are feeling the strain more than their male counterparts, says SpareRoom, with 85% spending more than 30% of their salary on rent each month, compared to 77% of men.
Unsurprisingly, the data shows that tenants in London, the South East and South West are spending a larger proportion of their take-home pay on rent than other regions.
In the capital, 86% of renters pay more than 30% of their salary on rent, followed by 83% in the South West and 82% in the South East.
SpareRoom director Matt Hutchinson (pictured) says: 'With over 80% of the UK already rent burdened, and over a third spending over half of their salary on rent, people are really feeling the squeeze, and rising rents will only cause yet more affordability issues for those renting in the UK.
"It's crucial the government understands the severity of this situation and starts to help, or this housing crisis will become a housing disaster.'�
Read more: Rents rise again in April.