A report into housing needs has called for the amount of affordable homes in new developments to be cut. The Government commissioned study says it would allow developers to build more properties to boost the rental market.
It says: "It's clear we must encourage investment in the private rented sector, which has gone through a period of rapid growth and is now relied upon by millions of people."
According to the Valuation Office, the average private rent in Leeds is £10,188 a year - much higher than the national average and in the top 50 highest rents in the country outside of London. It is more expensive to rent in Leeds than in the Cotswolds.
Meanwhile, the average yearly private rent in York is £9,372 – again above the national average.
The National Housing Federation have responded, saying:
“We absolutely support the report’s call for reform of, and more investment in, private rented housing. It will be a crucial part of the solution to help tackle the country’s desperate housing shortage.
“For generations housing demand has outstripped supply, putting pressure on prices. Market rents have become more and more costly and, with home ownership continuing to be out of reach for millions, it is putting huge financial pressure on the hard working families who have to rent."
Councillor Mike Jones, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Environment and Housing Board, said:
“Councils across the country agree that there simply aren’t enough new homes being built. We desperately need more housing, and we need a mixture that includes private, social, affordable and rental properties.
“Any strategy to boost the number of new rental homes should not come at the expense of new affordable housing, and councils will in consultation with their residents always seek to ensure a suitable balance between the need for private rental property and new affordable homes."