The typical rent in England and Wales rose to £712 a month, according to LSL Property Services, which owns chains Your Move and Reeds Rains.
LSL said the increase, though small at 0.1%, was the first rent rise in the month of January since its records began in 2008. It was the first month-on-month increase since October.
LSL said average London rents were now £1,032 per month. Rents rose the fastest on a monthly basis in the West Midlands and South West, where they increased by 1.8% and 1.5% respectively.
Rental arrears also remained high in January, according to LSL, with 10.7% of all rent late or unpaid at the end of the month.