TENANTS in Brighton have seen their rents rocket by more than one fifth since 2014 – well above the national average.

The average cost of renting in Brighton has gone up by 22 per cent over the past four years, from £900 a month to £1,100.

Nationally, average rents went up by just 13 per cent according to the latest figures from the Valuation Office Agency.

Paul Williams from Brighton renters’ union Acorn said rapid rent rises were forcing many to leave the city or live in poverty.

He said: “Many renters are scared to complain about disrepair in case their landlord increases their rent.”

Mr Williams is calling for rent controls and improved rights for tenants to ensure safe, affordable housing is available to everyone in the city

Brighton is the second most expensive city in the country to rent in, behind only London.

One Kemp Town tenant, who did not want to be named, said her rent had gone up by a quarter in the past year, despite damp problems and a leaky roof.

She said: “I asked for repairs as rain was actually coming down the walls of my bedroom.

“The landlord responded by temporarily fixing the leak but did not tackle the overarching problem of roofing repairs which according to a report is in desperate need of proper repair.

“The landlord then increased rent by £250 a month, that is a 25 per cent increase.

“When I appealed against this huge increase, the landlord replied that although I have been a fantastic tenant, there is no negotiation on the increase and that if I did not wish to pay then I will be give the statutory two-months notice to leave.

“I have lived in the property for ten years. I love living here and have made it my home, but I am now very worried about asking for any repairs as I fear yet another rent increase which I cannot afford.”