More than half the privately rented properties in England saw a rent rise in the last year, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.
It reports that 50.6% of properties in England experienced a price increase in February compared to 36% in February 2022. However, the ONS admits that tenancies may have changed between visits, meaning that the figures don't show how many tenants saw a rise in rental costs.
The new figures come as Housing secretary Michael Gove has vowed to stop unscrupulous landlords from raising rent well above inflation.
Speaking on the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, the Minister said he did not think it was acceptable that some were increasing their rents by 20-30% at a time when many people were struggling with the rising cost of living.
Gove added: 'In every market there will always be actors who will attempt to exploit circumstances in their interests, not in the public interest.'�
He promised that the government's rental reforms would 'look at how the private rental sector can be better regulated'�, although he ruled out the idea of rent caps or freezes.
'We do need to make sure that we protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords as we also give landlords the power to get rid of anti-social tenants as well,'� Gove said.
According to the ONS, London renters were most likely to be paying more this year (66.8%) with those in the North West the least likely (27.9%).
The average price increase was 9.7%, up from 7% in February 2022, with those in the capital also seeing a larger average price increase (12%) than the England average. Since early 2022, flats and maisonettes have experienced the highest average percentage rental price change of all property types in London.