The median monthly rent for a one-bedroom property in the town stood at £400 in the year to March, say Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures – with the median wage in the area being £27,717 per year.
That means the average middle-income worker in the area spent around 17% of their income on rent last year – before living costs soared in April, adding to the strain on people’s finances.
Median rent across all property types in Hartlepool rose from £475 per month in the 12 months to March 2021 to £492 last year.
The Government’s recently unveiled renters' reform bill aims to ban no-fault evictions and provide greater legal power for tenants to challenge landlords on unfit homes and unjust rent rises.
Housing charity Shelter said the bill is a “gamechanger” for England’s 11 million private renters.
Polly Neate, Shelter chief executive, said: “Millions of tenants are living on a knife-edge with no wriggle room to help then navigate rising costs as private rents rocket.
Ms Neate urged the Government to end the freeze on housing benefit immediately.
A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson said: "We are extending the decent homes standard to the private rented sector, giving all renters the legal right to a warm home, while empowering them to challenge poor housing standards and unjustified rent increases."