Tenants in properties owned by private landlords have faced the highest rise in rent since comparable records began seven years ago, official data shows.

Rents rose 4% last year as landlords, who face their own squeeze from higher mortgage rates, passed on those costs.

A quarter of tenants surveyed in December said their rent had risen in the past six months, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Renters proportionally spend more on housing costs than owners do. On average, they pay 24% of their weekly expenditure on housing compared with 16% by those with a mortgage, the ONS said, based on the latest figures from 2021.

There has been a steep rise in mortgage costs in 2022, driven in part by the doomed mini-budget during the premiership of Liz Truss. Rates surged as the markets reacted unfavourably to promises of tax cuts without an explanation of how they would be funded.

The average cost of a new, two-year fixed-rate mortgage has fallen slowly since markets stabilised, but is still much higher than it was last year at 5.78%.

The ONS points out that many thousands of homeowners face sharply higher mortgage costs when their current fixed-rate deal expires.

The ONS said that more than 1.4 million households would be renewing their fixed-rate mortgage this year, with 57% of them currently paying an interest rate of less than 2%. This renewal peak will come between April and June when 371,000 deals expire.

Should the interest rate on a £100,000 capital and repayment mortgage, borrowed over 25 years, increase from 2% to 6%, then the monthly repayment would jump by £220, the ONS said.

The same increase on a £300,000 mortgage would see monthly repayments rise by £661. The impact of higher mortgage rates is not only hitting those who are re-mortgaging, but also the prospects of first-time buyers.