Rents in the UK rose by 1.2 per cent in February compared with the same month a year ago, taking the average monthly rent to £906, the latest national rental index shows.

Rents in London increased by 1.1 per cent to £1,537 a month and when the capital is excluded, the average UK rental value was £758 - up 1.6 per cent on last year, according to the HomeLet February rental index.

Scotland has one of the strongest rental markets, with rents up 1.1 per cent month-on-month and 5.5 per cent year on year to £632.

Northern Ireland has also outperformed other parts of the UK with rents up 1.1 per cent month-on-month and 4.3% year on year to £631, while the East Midland is the best performing region in England with average rents up 0.3 per cent month-on-month and 3.9 per cent year-on-year to £619.

In Greater London rents increased by 0.3 per cent month-on-month and by 1.1 per cent on an annual basis and in neighbouring South East of England rents were unchanged compared with January and up just 0.3 per cent year-on-year to £995.

Month-on-month rents slipped 0.3 per cent between January and February 2018, and the data also shows that that rents fell in two regions: in the North East ( by 3.3 per cent month-on-month to £520) and in the South West (by 1.4 per cent to £806.)