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The cheapest places to rent a home in 2023

Looking for a rental home that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Here’s your complete guide to the cheapest places to rent in the UK.

Words by: Ellie Isaac

Senior Editor

Rents for new lets have risen by an average of £1,320 over the last year. It’s driven by rental demand sitting 51% above the five-year average, while the availability of rental homes is down 30% compared to normal for this time of year.

This supply and demand mismatch has pushed rents 10.5% higher over the last 12 months - although this is a little slower than the 12.1% growth we saw a year ago.

Rental Market Report: September 2023

With rents still rising and the cost-of-living squeeze pushing all our purses to the limit, you might be looking for a cheaper home to rent.

The good news is there are some places where it’s much cheaper to rent a home than others.

Let’s take a look at the regions, cities and local areas with the cheapest rents in the UK.

The cheapest places to rent in the UK - regions

For the cheapest rents in the country, set your sights on the North East - tenants spend an average of £649 per month on rent here.

Northern Ireland, Scotland, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North West all sit at the cheaper end of the scale too, with rents averaging less than £800 per month.

Rents in the South of England are much more expensive than anywhere else in the country. 

London is by far the most expensive region to rent in the UK (£2,053 per month), followed by the South East (£1,254), East of England (£1,111) and South West (£1,016).

RegionAverage rentAnnual % change
North East£649+9.5%
Northern Ireland£744+4.2%
Yorkshire and the Humber£758+8.4%
North West£795+11.0%
East Midlands£816+9.5%
West Midlands£852+10.0%
South West£1,016+7.8%
East of England£1,111+9.8%
South East£1,254+9.5%
Zoopla Rental Market Report, September 2023 (data to July 2023)
A map showing the rental rates in UK regions and major cities as well as the annual rise in rental rates in these locations.

The cheapest UK cities to rent a home in 2023

Just because you want cheaper rent, it doesn’t mean you have to move out to the sticks.

The cost of rent varies a huge amount across UK cities, with Belfast, Liverpool and Sheffield offering the cheapest average rents.

In Belfast, rents are currently averaging £759 per month - plus it has affordable living costs compared to mainland Britain.

Renters in Liverpool are paying £764 per month to live in the UK’s friendliest city, where rents have risen 8.7% in the last year.

The only other major city where rents are below £800 per month is Sheffield, the vibrant Yorkshire city that’s home to a lively student scene.

Cities in the Midlands tend to be fairly cheap to rent, with Birmingham and Nottingham both posting average rents of below £900 per month.

When it comes to Scotland, you’ll find a dynamic city lifestyle and cheap rents in Glasgow, where rents average £898 per month. Edinburgh is much pricier with an average rent of £1,199 per month.

In southern cities, you can expect to pay higher rent than anywhere else in the country. London and Bristol have the highest monthly rents of any UK city, with Southampton also posting an expensive average rate of £1,057.

CityAverage monthly rentAnnual % change
Zoopla Rental Market Report, September 2023 (data to July 2023)

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The cheapest places to rent in every region

Getting cheaper rent doesn’t mean you have to move to a whole new part of the country, either.

Here’s a breakdown of the cheapest districts to rent in each UK region. It might be that you could get a cheaper rent just by moving a few miles.

RegionCheapest local authority to rentAverage monthly rent
East MidlandsEast Lindsey£626
East of EnglandWaveny£724
North EastHartlepool£497
North WestBurnley£521
ScotlandEast Ayrshire£502
South EastIsle of Wight£862
South WestNorth Devon£753
West MidlandsStoke-on-Trent£632
Yorkshire and the HumberHull£578
Zoopla Rental Market Report, September 2023 (data to July 2023)

We try to make sure that the information here is accurate at the time of publishing. But the property market moves fast and some information may now be out of date. Zoopla Property Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any decisions you make based on the information provided.