UK rents rose by an average of 2.1 per cent last month continuing an upward trend after a period of low or even negative rental price inflation.

The average rent agreed on a new tenancy signed last month was £927 - compared to £908 in September 2016.

Northern Ireland saw rental price inflation hit 4.3 per cent in September, followed by the West Midlands (3.9 per cent) and the East Midlands (3.7 per cent). Only the south east of England recorded a negative rate of annual rental price inflation.

Rents also rose in London for the second month running after a four-month period in which annual rental price inflation had declined.

Rents in the capital were 1.9 per cent higher last month than in September 2016, with the average tenancy agreed in London last month costing £1,593.

Figures from Rightmove also showed that rents outside London dropped 0.2 per cent in the third quarter of this year and marked the south east as the worst performing region, dropping 2.3 per cent on the previous quarter.

Rightmove also said properties were taking eight per cent longer to find a tenant outside London and five per cent longer in London than at this time last year.

Industry experts believe the rent increases may be driven by landlords passing on their own higher costs to tenants.

The new trend may also be motivated by more tenants competing for fewer properties after some landlords withdrew from the market, following a series of attacks on the private rented sector.