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22 February 2015, 07:27
More than a third of people who rent in Norfolk and Suffolk saw their rent increase at the start of the year, according to a new report.
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla) says 35% of landlords in the East increased monthly rent between December and January - that's the highest increase across the UK.
They say 27% of branches they work with saw an increase in tenants' monthly rental costs, while just 4% saw a decrease.
At the other end of the spectrum, agents in Wales only saw one in 10 (11%) landlords increasing monthly rent.
The new rental index says on average tenants were found to remain in a property for 18 months.
David Cox, the Managing Director of Arla, said that surging house prices in some areas, combined with stricter mortgage lending rules which were introduced last April, are helping to keep demand for rental properties strong.
He said: "The demand for rental property is increasing, which impacts the cost of renting; people are willing to pay more to secure their desired property. If house prices continue to rise in 2015, we expect this trend to continue in the rental sector.''
Despite rising rent costs letting agents reported that, on average, it takes around five viewings for a property to be let, but in the East of England it only takes an average of three viewings.