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Nearly 1 in 3 private renters have rent hiked in last three months

Posted 21 Nov 2022

Almost 3.3 million private renters in England – nearly one in three – have had their rent increased in the last three months new Shelter figures show, as featured on BBC Panorama tonight.

Panorama’s new documentary, Cost of Living: Can’t Afford My Home, which airs at 8pm on BBC One, shines a light on how soaring rents and living costs are making it even harder for people to afford their housing costs.

The charity’s exclusive polling, conducted by YouGov and funded by Nationwide Building Society, also reveals 31% of private renters in England - equivalent to more than 3.5 million people – have had to borrow money in the last month in a bid to keep paying their rent.

Previous research carried out by the charity on the growing threat of eviction, showed nearly 350,000 private renting adults were either served with an eviction notice, or removed from their homes between July and August 2022 - including nearly 70,000 families.

Shelter is warning that the current rental crisis could fast become a homelessness emergency. It is calling on the government to immediately unfreeze housing benefit, which is stuck at 2020 levels despite private rents rising to record highs, and to build a new generation of social homes.

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: “Every day our services are inundated with calls from people battling to keep a roof over their head as rents rocket and living costs soar. Our advisers are trying to help people in dire straits - from the man with nothing left after paying his rent bar a bag of rice to see him through to pay day, to families devastated by no fault evictions.

“Even before the cost-of-living crisis took hold, thousands of people were being tipped into homelessness because of the chronic lack of affordable social homes.Now record-high private rents, on top of crippling food and fuel bills are pushing even more people over the edge.

“By failing to unfreeze housing benefit in its autumn statement, the government is allowing the country’s rental crisis to turn into a homelessness emergency. People need help to pay their rent this winter, and if we want to end homelessness for good we have to build more social homes.”

To help Shelter support more people fighting for their home visit:


Notes to editors:

About Shelter: Shelter exists to defend the right to a safe home and fight the devastating impact the housing emergency has on people and society. Shelter believes that home is everything. Learn more at

Anyone who is facing homelessness can get free and expert advice through Shelter’s free emergency helpline, webchat service and online advice pages. Visit to find out more.

About the Research: All data, unless otherwise stated, is from a YouGov survey for Shelter of 2,000 Private Renters in England. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26 October and 10 November 2022. The survey was carried out Online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults in England (aged 18+). Population figured have been calculated using English Housing Survey data. 

% of Private RentersNumber of Private Renters
Thinking about the amount you spend on your rent, which of the following best describes how it has changed?
Increased in the last month13.51%1,509,749
Not increased in the last month but increased in the last 3 months15.77%1,762,305
Not increased in the last 3 months but increased in the last year31.99%3,565,957
Net: Increased in the last 3 months29.28%3,272,053
Which, if any, of the following have you done/sacrificed in the last month in order to enable you to keep up with rent payments? (Please tick all that apply)
Borrowed money from parents8%866,066
Borrowed money from friends/other family7%748,728
Borrowed from bank or building society2%222,383
Borrowed from credit card16%1,771,245
Borrowed from payday loan1%144,158
Borrowed from overdraft15%1,684,079
Net: Borrowed31%3,517,904

Previous research is based on a YouGov survey for Shelter of 2,031 Private Renters in England. Fieldwork was undertaken between 29 July and 17 August 2022. The survey was carried out Online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all private renting adults in England (aged 16+).