Two fifths of landlords plan to raise the rent this year in moves that will affect two million UK tenants, according to new figures from online letting agent MakeUrMove.

If this number of landlords carry out their plans that would mean rent rises totalling around £46 million a month.

With the average rent just over £900 a month, the firm says that a rise of 2.5 per cent would mean tenants paying £23 a month more, totalling £414 across a typical 18 month tenancy.

Tenants will feel the impact most severely in London where the average rent is £1,274, as half of landlords say they are planning to increase rents in the capital.

In the North East 46 per cent of landlords say they will be forced increase rents due to new laws and regulations, while in Scotland the figure is 45 per cent.

Around 97 per cent of landlords surveyed by MakeUrMove believed it was important to keep tenants happy, suggesting rent increases are a last resort.

Alexandra Morris, managing director of MakeUrMove, said: “Rents have already been increasing year on year, and it’s likely that 2018 will be the year that sees UK tenants feel the biggest impact yet from the recent changes introduced to the private rental sector.

“From our experience, we know many tenants are already stretching their monthly budgets to afford rental properties, and additional rent increases could be the final straw, tipping them into debt or rent arrears.”

Younger generations will be disproportionately affected by the increase, with figures from MakeUrMove showing that 58.9 per cent of tenants are aged 18 to 34.

“Our study has shown that half of the UK’s landlords are small landlords who only own one property,” Ms Morris explained.

“These landlords operate on very tight margins and recent changes introduced by the Government have put even more pressure on them.

“This means they will have no choice but to consider these rent increases in 2018 which will negatively affect tenants.

“The value of these landlords cannot be underestimated, they are central to the UK’s rental sector and add valuable capacity to the market, and the Government needs to recognise this and start to support them, for the sake of the UK’s millions of tenants,” she added.