Average rents paid by new tenants across the UK were 11.8% higher in the three months to July compared to a year earlier.

Rent growth in the quarter was also higher than the 8.2% recorded in 2014 and 3.7% in 2013, according to data from specialist landlord buy to let insurer Homelet.

As usual rents were higher in London – up 9.5% on the same period last year. The rest of the UK saw a rise of around 8.1%.

New tenants in London are now paying an average £1,538 a month for a private rented home, which is £134 more than 12 months ago.

Outside the capital, the average monthly rent is £761 a month, which is £55 more than at the same time last year.

Nationwide, including London, average rents are £977 a month. In July 2014, the average buy to let rent was £874 a month.

Landlords in the North West were the only property investors not to see a rise in rents. Instead, tenants were paying 1.4% less.

The research also found average tenant incomes were 4% higher than the same period last year.

Homelet’s Martin Totty said:

“Rent rises are now a UK trend. Regions associated with a buoyant rentals sector, such as London, continue to experience rising prices, but rents are also rising in many other parts of the country at similar rates.

“The South-West, for example, is benefitting from its popularity with those attracted to the area for lifestyle reasons, as well as the strong local economy in many of the towns and cities of the region.”

“House prices rises have slowed while rent continues to increase. With signs of the cost of mortgage finance starting to edge up, it will be interesting to see if this recent trend continues or if the change in buy-to-let mortgage interest tax relief announced in the Summer Budget has any indirect impact on rental values.”

The Homelet data comes from tenant reference checks based on around 350,000 inquiries a year from landlords and letting agents.

Download the full report – including London borough and UK regional average rent breakdowns