Record numbers of lettings agents are reporting rent hikes for tenants.
The latest report from ARLA Propertymark, based on a poll of 191 members, shows that 40% of agents say rents have been increased.
This is up from 31% in July and the highest since ARLA Propertymark started recording the data in January 2015.
The research showed demand from tenants has fallen, with the number of registrations per branch dropping by 19% between July and August to 64 on average.
This is down from 72 prospective tenants per branch registered in August 2017.
While supply dropped, rental listings increased to 197 in August from 184 the previous month, the highest figure seen since last December when supply stood at 200. The figure is also up 4% from 189 in August 2017.
David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, 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.
“Four in ten tenants saw their rents rise in August – the highest level we’ve seen since records began. 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.”