The proportion of income spent on rent in the private rented sector has fallen over the last ten years while rents paid by social tenants has increased, a new analysis claims. The proportion for private tenants fell from 35.4 per cent in 2010/11 to 32.9 per cent in 2017/18, according to data in the English Housing Survey for 2017/18, analysed by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

Meanwhile, the amount of income used for rent by social tenants increased from 26.7 per cent to 28 per cent.

The figures show that average weekly rents across England (excluding London) in the private rented sector increased by 22 per cent, nearly half the increase of 43 per cent in rent in the social housing sector.

Alan Ward, chair of the RLA, said: “This data shows that the private rented sector is becoming more affordable, demonstrating the folly that forms of rent controls would be.

“Tax increases are choking the supply of homes to rent. Landlords like to keep their tenants who benefit from lower or no rent increases when tenancies are renewed, but fewer homes for rent means less choice for new tenants.

“We need positive, pro-growth taxation that supports landlords investing in the new homes to rent the country desperately needs.”

In London, private rents increased by an average of 34 per cent compared to 55 per cent in the social sector.

The government’s 2018 survey of landlords found that 70 per cent kept their rents the same when they most recently renewed a tenancy, showing that landlords prioritise keeping good tenants for a long term.

The RLA is warning of the risks now posed to improved affordability in the private rented sector as a result of changes such as those to benefits and increased taxation driving landlords out of the market.