More than four in ten (42%) UK landlords will be raising rents next year, with over a quarter (26%) planning inflation-busting rent increases of more than 3%, according to a survey carried out by flat and house share website SpareRoom.co.uk.

This will be unwelcome news for the thousands of people who are trapped renting long term because they can’t afford to climb onto the property ladder, and saw rents soar last year. The average UK rent for a double room in shared accommodation with bills included rose by 4.5% in Q4 2013 to £507 per month – up from £485 the previous year – according to SpareRoom’s Rental Index. In London, the average room rent increased by 2% in the last quarter to £676 per month, up from £663 a year ago.

The research also revealed that almost six in ten landlords (58%) are not planning to increase rents in 2013, as many concede that keeping good, reliable tenants in their properties takes priority.

The table below shows the results of the survey of landlords, who were asked whether they planned to raise or lower rents in 2014:

Landlords rent plans for 2014

Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom, explains:

To Let Sign"The good news is the majority of landlords would rather keep good, reliable tenants than make a few hundred pounds extra profit a year. Landlords hiking rents up by more than 3% risk attracting tenants who could struggle to pay their rent on time or, even worse, risk void periods with no tenants and no rental income at all.

If you’re a good tenant don’t automatically just accept an increase. Use it as an opportunity to talk to your landlord and get some improvements carried out in return.

If you’re facing rent increases check your contract. Tenants on fixed-term tenancy contracts could be protected them from rent rises as landlords aren't usually allowed to increase rents until the term ends, unless there’s a clause in the agreement saying the rent can be increased.”

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