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27 May 2015, 06:00
Glasgow has seen the largest annual increase in rent prices, up 5% from last year, new figures show.
The average residential rent in Scotland has climbed 1.6% since April 2014, according to lettings agent Your Move.
It now stands at £539 following the fastest year-on-year increase for five months.
Rents in the Glasgow and Clyde area went up by an average of £27 to £563, with the east of the country recording the second biggest rise of 1.7% to £531.
Rents in Edinburgh and the Lothians are now cheaper than they were a year previously, down 0.8% in the twelve months to April to £588.
In the Highlands & Islands rents dropped 0.6% to £540 while the south recorded a modest 0.7% climb to £498.
Brian Moran, area lettings director at Your Move, said: "After rental prices plateaued over the winter months, we're seeing annual rent rises start to ascend again.
"Affordability in the private rented sector now rests on new housing becoming available to let, and more choice for tenants, to keep rents competitive and rent rises in check.
"Solid rent rises offer clear encouragement for those contemplating buy-to-let investment but fears of prohibitive rent controls and additional tenancy legislation in Scotland may be off-putting, which could choke off new supply of rented homes and drive up prices for tenants.''
Your Move said the level of rent arrears in Scotland increased to 9.2% in April from 6.2% last year.
Mr Moran said: "Household finances are a struggle for some in Scotland and a minority of tenants are still mired in the red.
"Renters are much more likely to be in a job than a year ago but when it comes to paying the rent on time, wages are critical too.
"Much headway has been made regarding the employment rate in Scotland but it's time for earnings to experience the same growth.''
Landlords' total annual returns doubled in the past year to 15.2% - mainly as a result of accelerating house price growth before the new Land and Buildings Transaction Tax was introduced, according to Your Move.
The typical landlord in Scotland has seen a return, before any mortgage payments or maintenance costs, of £23,820 in the year to April 2015.
Mr Moran said: "It's worth remembering that we're experiencing some extraordinary behaviour in the Scottish housing market at the moment, which lies largely at the root of this.
"House prices in Scotland are currently rising twice as fast as those in the rest of England and Wales, as a result of a short-term shot of activity before the new transaction tax was enforced.
"Now we're under the new regime, this momentum is likely to calm to more sustainable levels - so landlords should adjust their expectations accordingly.
"Long-term capital gains should always be a plus for all landlords, rather than something to take for granted.''