The number of landlords increasing rents has hit a two-year high, confirming predictions that tenants would bear the brunt of controversial changes to tax relief.

The proportion of letting agents who saw landlords increasing rent costs for tenants rose to 35 per cent in August – the highest level since July 2015, when 37 per cent saw rents increase.

This figure has risen from 27 per cent from last year, while just 2 per cent successfully negotiated a reduction last month, down from 2.5 per cent in July.

The data comes from the latest Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) Propertymark Private Rented Sector survey of 216 branches.

The number of prospective tenants also fell slightly from 72 to 70 per member branch between July and August, while the number of properties managed saw a small decrease from 192 to 189 over the same period.

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “In November last year, only 16 per cent of agents saw landlords increasing rent costs, but that figure now stands at 35 per cent – which is likely to continue rising.

“Landlords have had a rough ride at the hands of policy changes at Government level, and it’s becoming clear that these additional costs are now being passed on to tenants.”

“This month’s findings paint another bleak picture for tenants," he added.

Landlords bodies like the Residential Landlords Association and the National Landlords Association predicted that recent legislation would ultimately impact on tenants.

Since 2015, the private rented sector has been battered by a hike in stamp duty on second properties, an increase in regulation, the loss of wear and tear allowances, as well as the phasing out of tax relief on mortgage costs.

Industry experts predicted have long predicted that tenants would bear the cumulative effect of these changes.