New research reveals the best cities in the UK for renters. It accounts for factors like rent prices, crime rate, eviction rate, annual rental price increase, and even the unemployment rate.

This will help you discover which has the best rent in UK cities, but – spoiler alert – don’t let it surprise you if you see London, the city that can bleed you dry, on this list.

Find out the nine best cities to rent in the UK below.

1. Plymouth

Plymouth scored a whopping 100% in the index, making it the most renter-friendly city in the UK. On average, renters in this city spend only about 32% of their income on rent. This makes it easy to save for a deposit.

It helps that its unemployment rate is the lowest at 2.8%, although you can expect an annual price hike of 1.9%.

What makes it the best place for renters (or for everyone, in general) is that it has a low crime rate of 59.4 per 1,000 people. That’s around 38% lower than the national average of 95 per 1,000 people.

2. Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a close second, scoring 98.9% in the index. Although it’s known for having high rental prices, as shown by the average percentage of income spent on rent at 38.9%, renters can enjoy a low annual price hike of 0.6%.

They also have a lot of rentals to choose from with Edinburgh having 133 rented properties per 1,000 population. That’s 53 more than the most renter-friendly city, Plymouth (80 per 1,000).

People living in the city also enjoy a low crime rate of 60.4 per 1,000 people.

3. Cardiff

Cardiff, having a score of 85.3%, snags third place thanks to its low unemployment rate of 3.0% and low eviction rate of 7.2 per 1,000 private rented properties.

Renters in Cardiff spend about 36.2% of their income on rent. Its crime rate of 84.7 per 1,000 people is still lower than the national average, although it’s cutting close to it.

Nonetheless, its 1.2% annual price hikes and 70 rented properties per 1,000 population make Cardiff a good enough choice for renters.

4. Glasgow

Glasgow has the second-lowest rental prices out of the nine cities on this list. Renters in the city spend an average of 30.6% of their annual income. This alone makes it a solid choice for renters, but it presents other benefits, too.

Glasgow ties with Edinburgh, as well, when it comes to the annual rental price hike of 0.6%. Of the 29 cities analysed, only two other cities go below that – Newcastle Upon Tyne and Sunderland at both 0.5%.

The city also has a fair amount of rented properties, having 98 per 1,000 people.

5. Southampton

Southampton ties with Glasgow in fourth place with a score of 82.1% in the index. It has a low unemployment rate of 3.1% with a decent number of private rented properties of 90 per 1,000 population.

If you’re interested to live here on a rental, prepare to spend around 36.6% of your income on rent. You should also expect an annual price hike of 1.4%.

If you have a pet, it’s worth noting that another study found Southampton to be the most pet-friendly city for renters in the UK.

6. Leeds

Leeds is in fifth place, tying with Swansea with a score of 81.1%. Renters here also enjoy a low rate of 32.9% of income spent on rent. It has one of the lowest eviction rates, as well, with 5.1 per 1,000 properties.

Like Edinburgh, Leeds has a bounty of rented properties with 126.4 per 1,000 people. The annual price hike in this city is 1.9%.

It’s important to note, however, that it has a higher crime rate than the national average. With 127.3 per 1,000 people, it has twice the rate of crimes in Plymouth.

7. Swansea

Also in fifth place, Swansea has decent scores across the board. It has the second-lowest eviction rate on this list at 2.2 per 1,000 rented properties and a low unemployment rate of 3%. Annual price hikes are only at 1.2%.

Although it’s tied with Leeds, rent is higher here as renters can expect to spend 38.8% of their income – around the same as in Edinburgh. The crime rate is the same in Cardiff, as well, with 84.7 per 1,000 population.

8. London

It might come as a surprise to many seeing London on this list, but it’s here. It comes in sixth place, having scored 80% in the index.

As you can expect, renters spend an obscene amount of rent here, eating up 64.2% of their income. That’s double the rate in Plymouth and much higher than the other prices of rent in UK cities. The crime rate is also a bit high at 102.4 per 1,000 population.

The annual rental price rise is stable at 1.2%, though. It has an abundance of rented properties, as well, having 148.9 properties per 1,000 people.

The eviction rate in the city is the lowest among the nine cities listed here at 0.5 per 1,000 rented properties.

9. Derby

If you want to move from renting to ownership in the future, you might want to get help with moving as you move up from London to Derby. It has some of the cheapest places to rent in the UK.

On average, renters here can allocate a low 22% of their income for rent. This makes it easier to save money for a house deposit.

It has a low crime rate, as well, with only 67.1 per 1,000 people. The average annual price hike of 2.1% is the highest on this list, though. The unemployment rate is a bit high at 3.9%, too.

Find the Best Price of Rent in UK Cities

The prices of rent in UK cities may vary, but as this research shows, it’s not the only thing to consider. As evidenced by London making it to this list, you have to consider other factors when deciding which city to live in.

Of course, there are many other factors to consider before relocating. You’ll also want to consider nearby amenities, schools, and other utilities for work and education.

Fortunately, we’ve got your back! If you need more moving tips, check out more of our guides and blogs today.


Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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