Rip-off rents are set to continue to rise over the next year experts predict, as tenants struggle to make ends meet.
Rents have already soared by 4.3 per cent over the last 12 months driven in part by high demand for rental properties, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
And they predict rents will rise by another 3.9 per cent on average across Britain over the next year.
More tenants are being forced to rent for longer due to the huge deposits that need to be saved before tenants can even consider buying.
This demand is continuing to grow and it has been outpacing the change in supply since the first half of 2009, RICS said.
RICS global residential director Peter Bolton King said: "While tenant interest is still riding high what remains to be seen is whether many are willing to meet the increasing rents being demanded by landlords.
"However it is clear that we have seen rents grow steadily right across Britain for some time.
"These barriers to home ownership need to be addressed alongside the shortage of new stock coming to the market."
The study also uncovered strong regional variations.
In the north-west rents increased by the biggest margin with a 6.9 per cent rise whereas surveyors in Wales reported that rents had remained at the same level over the past 12 months.
Suggestions have also been made that many people are choosing to rent because of uncertainty surrounding the housing market.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders said that buy-to-let lending has increased by nearly a fifth in the space of a year amid strong growth in the rental sector.
Morning Star website, 10 August 2012