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Could your rent be about to rise?

Renting might already seem expensive, but things could be about to get worse as some landlords are reportedly set to increase rents this year by an average of £49 a month.

Mortgage lender Kent Reliance says four in 10 landlords plan a rent hike in the next six months.

An extra £49 might not seem much, but that’s £600 over a year. And this is only the predicted average, based on a 5.6% increase. For bigger homes or those in big city centres, it’ll be more; for example, a rental bill of £1,800 – not uncommon in London for a one bed flat - would on average rise by £101 each month.

Could you cope with higher rent?

If money is generally tight, extra rent is pressure you probably don’t need. If you think it might be too much to handle, there are a few simple steps you can take to get prepared.

First, work out exactly where you spend your money. It might appear you’ve cut back everywhere already, but using a budget planner can help you find places where there’s some fat to trim, or even cut back completely. Switching your bills – whether electricity, gas, TV or mobile, can often bring about some big savings.

It’s worth giving yourself an allowance to spend each week – after rent and bills - and keeping track. This will help avoid accidentally spending more than you planned.

If you find you’ve got anything spare left at the end of the month, you can then do what you want with it – possibly save it towards a deposit to buy. The most important thing is to make sure you can afford the essentials like rent and bills – you don’t want to risk losing the roof over your head.

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