The total amount of rent paid by tenants in Great Britain grew to a record £51.6bn last year, more than double the £22.6bn paid in 2007, according to research from Countrywide.
Rents grew by £1.8bn in 2017, and have now risen in every year for the last decade, the study suggests.
The average cost of a new let rose 2.4 per cent in January compared to the same time last year. Rents across Great Britain rose by 1.9 per cent when London was excluded.
Countrywide argues millennials – who it defines as those born between 1977 and 1995 – have paid more than half the total rent of the nation over the last 11 years, though the 59 per cent paid last year is down from a peak of 64 per cent in 2015.
It notes that today millennials account for a similar proportion of rent as they did in 2011.
Older renters make up a significant proportion of tenants according to the data. Countrywide found that baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – paid 10 per cent of all rent, the same figure as generation Z – those born after 1995.
Countrywide research director Johnny Morris says that the combination of more people joining the rented sector and average rents rising meant 2017 saw the highest total rent bill so far.
He adds: “Stabilising rents in central London alongside rises everywhere else in the capital has pushed the rate of rental growth to the highest level for 22 months.
“While the rate of growth outside London remains higher than for most of last year, it has picked up to a lesser extent. Across northern England rent rises are running at half the rate of 2017.”