A shortage of supply has led to abuse by unscrupulous landlords, who are refusing to meet the cost of basic repairs and are illegally evicting tenants.
Figures show that the average monthly rent for a flat in Glasgow rocketed by £73 in a year, the biggest rise among UK cities.
A three-bed flat in the city now costs tenants £1187 a month.
A similar trend is being seen across Scotland, as a shortage of social housing has sent demand through
ECA International (ECA), a global firm providing housing data to major companies, found increases of £20 a month to £1180 in Aberdeen and £29 to £1664 in Edinburgh, the UK’s fourth most expensive city to rent in.
Homeless charity Shelter has spoken to many people whose standard of living has plummeted this year as they are priced out, with some ending up in temporary lets set aside for homeless people.
Alison Watson, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “The shortage of safe, secure and affordable social housing in popular areas like Glasgow and Edinburgh means there is increasing demand for privately rented homes, and landlords can name their price.
“As rents rise, individuals and families are priced out of their chosen communities and forced to live in housing which doesn’t meet their needs whether it’s in the wrong location, is too small or is in poor condition.
“Some end up priced out of the market altogether and get trapped in temporary housing for people experiencing homelessness.”
Watson said a massive building programme is needed to help those affected.
She added: “The last Scottish Government has built the most social homes in a generation but it hasn’t been enough to close the gap between supply and demand.
“We need a more ambitious strategy. Independent researchers say 37,100 social homes are needed between now and 2026 if we’re to reduce the number of people waiting for the home they need.”
Private rents in Scotland for a two-bed property had increased over the last decade by 28 per cent – with a 46 per cent jump in Glasgow.