There will be a period of flat rental prices in the coming months, according to the head of sales at online property portal Fish4homes.

Stewart Black said that he cannot see "any external pressures"that will push demand either up or down.

His comments come after the latest rental index, published last month, found that the average rental asking price in the UK stood at £819.

This was a notable figure because it was the first time since August 2008 that rent values had not fallen month-on-month.

Private landlords are likely to have seen rental prices drop year-on-year though as the research indicated that the average price of rents has fallen by 5.5 per cent since May 2008.

One factor influencing prices is the supply of rental properties - and a number of Britons have started renting out rooms since the onset of the recession, contributing to an oversupply.

"Homeowners have to do whatever they have to do to keep their homes,"Mr Black remarked.

Written by Claire Doyle

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