New figures show that the price for renting property in England has risen by 8.4% since May 2005, and has been heavily influenced by the 11% increase in rental prices in London. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that over the past 12 months, the cost of renting rose by 1.3% in England, 1.5% in Wales and 1% in Scotland. This is the first time the ONS has recorded private rental costs and they are now planning to publish figures on a quarterly basis.Historical figures show that rental costs in England have risen steadily each year, with the exception of 2010 which experienced a fall. However, the British Property Federation (BPF) said the figures showed that the rising cost of renting was well below energy, food and transport price inflation. Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the BPF said “Private rents do not rise at the rate that is often perceived because most landlords do not raise rents every calendar year, but only when a tenant moves on, which is typically every 20 months or so.”The rental market has been bolstered by the stalling UK housing market which has generally pushed up demand for rental properties as first-time buyers struggle to get on the ladder. However, there are still huge variations in rental prices across the country. Prices in London rose by 6% in the 12 months to April 2013, but in Scotland they fell by 1.2% and in Northern Ireland they were down 0.8%.The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with property solicitors in Andover and across the country.