THE cost of renting has increased by five per cent compared to last year in the South West, up from £817 to £859.

Tenants in the South West also face giving away the largest slice of their wages for rent. Apart from London, people in the South West were left with less cash after paying their rent each month than anywhere else in the country.

On average, 32.8 per cent of wages are spent on rent in the area.

But there is good news for social housing tenants after Wiltshire Council announced a one per cent drop in monthly living costs.

Budget papers revealed: “The effect in 2019/20 for Wiltshire Council following Government rent setting policy is to reduce the average formula or target rent by one per cent.

"This equates to an average actual social rent reduction of £0.93 per week.

"This will now apply to all properties in 2019/20. For two-bedroom properties, the average 2018/19 rent - social and sheltered - was £87.59 per week, which will fall to an average of £86.88. For three-bedroom properties, the fall would be from £95.38 to £94.53.”