The average rent in the UK is now £997, up by 4.0% on the same time last year and making for another record-high average price, according to the HomeLet Rental Index.
Every region bar London saw a rise in rent prices year-on-year, and when excluding the capital the average rent in the UK is now £854, up by 6.4% on last year.
Rents in London continued to drop annually to £1,583, down by 0.9% on last year; this is the 12th decrease in annual variance in subsequent months.=
The East of England saw the most significant year-on-year price rise, up 8.5% on this time last year.
Scotland saw the most significant monthly price rise, with the average price increasing 2.6% to £707 a month in May.
Meanwhile, rent prices in East Midlands fell by 0.7% compared to last month, now at an average price of £704 per month.
Andy Halstead, chief executive at HomeLet and Let Alliance, said: “We’ve seen from sharp house price spikes across the country that the coronavirus pandemic changed what Britons are looking for in a property.
“Many said to be looking for properties offering more living space; for those working from home as an example, that’s also the case in the private rented sector.
“Rental properties continue to play a crucial role in meeting the demands of people up and down the country, and the flexibility and responsiveness shown by the private rental sector will be vital in the coming months as the country opens up again.
“As rents increase, we’ve also seen an increase of over 10% in suspicious and fraudulent applications for let property; with backlogs and delays in processing evictions, the demand for high-quality tenant reference and insurances has never been higher.
“The overwhelming success of the vaccination drive brings hope that returning to some form of normality could be on the horizon.
“However, we would still caution that millions could be made unemployed at the end of the furlough scheme – posing considerable problems in tandem with an unbalanced rental market.
“Whilst the government looks to stimulate homeownership, the importance of the private rented sector can’t be understated and should not be overlooked.”