Black Country among one of the cheapest regions to rent a home in
The Black Country is the cheapest place to rent in the West Midlands – with the region falling outside a pricing bubble impacting most of the country.
The cost of renting a two-bedroom home has remained largely static over the past three years, unlike prices in Birmingham and Coventry.
The cheapest place to rent a two-bedroom home in the wider region is Stoke, with the average price at £440 a month.
This is followed by Staffordshire Moorlands, £465, Walsall, £495, Wolverhampton, Cannock Chase and Sandwell, all £525, and Dudley, £530.
It means the Black Country is the cheapest region to rent a two-bedroom home.
And previous records from the Valuation Office Agency show the prices have hardly moved over the past three years.
In 2015, the average two-bed home in Cannock Chase cost £492, in Walsall £493, in Wolverhampton £508, in Sandwell £511 and Dudley £512.
At the other end of the spectrum, Stratford-on-Avon and Solihull are currently the most expensive, £750 – up from £726 in 2015.
Birmingham is £695, up from £644, and Coventry £625, up from £572.
Walsall leader Mike Bird said it 'wasn't necessarily good news' his borough was the cheapest in the Black Country for rented accommodation.
He said he was concerned over the low standard of homes being offered across the district.
He said: "There are quite alot of low-cost rented properties which are not as good as people will want them to be.
"In certain parts of the district the standard of properties are appalling.
"It maybe some people will say this is good news, but this shows a real undervaluing of homes which, as a result, means parts of Walsall are perpetuated with sub-standard property.
"We, as a council, have to make sure homes rented out are good enough to live in and landlords are not taking advantage of people moving to the area.
"We are using all the legislation available to ensure people get the standard of housing they should expect."
Charity Shelter says homes 'should be safe to live in and free from health and safety hazards'.
They should not, the charity says, have damp and condensation, lack hot water and have faulty electrics.
It ran a survey with YouGov which found almost half of private renters nationally had problems with poor conditions or disrepair.
Helpline adviser, Nadeem Khan, said: "Every day at Shelter, we speak to people desperate for help after being forced to live in appalling conditions for months on end.
"Some of the housing horrors we hear are truly shocking – from people who are forced to live in flats crawling with fleas or rats or with water pouring out of the toilet waste pipe, to those who've been through the ordeal of a fire in their home caused by faulty wiring.
"No-one should have to live in a home which is unsanitary or unsafe, and that's why it's crucial to know your rights as a renter."