The buy-to-let index from LSL Property Services reports that average rents climbed by 1% in the month, the fourth successive month of rises.
Tenant arrears were also on the rise, with 9.3% of rent either unpaid or paid late during July. Total unpaid rent amounted to £295m over the course of the month, 2% more than in June.
Rents in the South East of England grew fastest, climbing by 2.2%, with the West Midlands also rising by 1.8%. Rents in the South West and East regions fell by 0.4% during the same period.
London posted record rental levels for a third month in succession, rising 1% to hit £1,057. The capital continues to have the highest rents in the country, with the South East placing second with rents of £746 per month.
David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said that continued growth in rents was due to first-time buyers being unable to make the move into their own homes.
“The backlog of frustrated first-time buyers in the private rented sector showed no sign of clearing in July – in fact, it is still growing.
“As lending to those without substantial deposits remains depressed, demand for rented accommodation can only go one way in the long-term – providing further upwards momentum for rents.
“The rental market is also entering its summer peak, as recent graduates and those with new jobs begin to look for new accommodation. With more tenants on the move, alongside long-term underlying demand, fierce competition for properties is enabling landlords to increase rental prices to new highs.”