The proportion of tenants who faced rent hikes in August reached a four-year peak this summer, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA Propertymark).

The number of tenants experiencing rent increases soared to 40 per cent in August, from 31 per cent in July - the highest figure recorded since ARLA’s records began in January 2015.

Year on year, this figure has increased from 35 per cent in August 2017 and 27 per cent back in August 2016.

However, demand from prospective tenants fell significantly, with the number of house-hunters registered per branch dropping by 19 per cent in August to 64 on average, compared to 79 in July.

Year-on-year demand - as measured by registered house-hunters - is down 11 per cent as there were 72 prospective tenants registered per letting agent branch in August 2017.

Meanwhile the supply of available properties rose to 197 in August, from 184 last month - the highest figure seen since December 2017, when supply stood at 200.

Year on year, this supply figure is up four per cent from 189 in August 2017.

David Cox, ARLA’s chief executive, said: “As we’ve highlighted before, the impact of recent and ongoing tax changes continues to have a material impact on the buy-to-let market.

“Although it’s encouraging to see the number of properties available to rent rising, supply still isn’t anywhere near high enough to slow down the pace of rent rises.

“We need more homes to rent, and for government to change its narrative and recognise the very valid role buy-to-let plays in the housing mix.

“Driving small landlords out of the market ultimately impacts tenants most.”