Landlords need an official rent survey

So are your rents going up by the huge percentages quoted by the ‘official’ rent surveys?

The answer is probably a resounding no unless you are a landlord with a portfolio in London.

Rent surveys are pretty much rubbish for everyone but landlord bashers wanting to hog a few headlines and garner some column inches in the press.

Why? It’s easy to explain. First, most of the samples the surveys base their figures on are skewed. That’s statistical jargon for cr*p because they either have too few people responding, are limited to a certain geographical area or have other flaws in the data process.

Some rely on rents asked – not the rents agreed by tenants…and the list of reasons goes on.

To understand the rent surveys, landlords have got to understand some other issues –

  • Rent surveys are spewed out by businesses wanting to promote their services to landlords and tenants, like Rightmove, Countrywide, and LSL Property Services, who run the two nationwide letting agencies Reeds Rains and Your Move. These firms want publicity to attract customers, and they fuel the PR fire with these surveys
  • Rent surveys are averages. No one has an average home to let and the rental value depends on local factors, like how near the school or public transport may be, the size and condition of the house and other personal factors. Take any town and you will know the rent varies from street to street and even house to house in some neighbourhoods.
  • Rents depend on local wages and other economic matters. A four bed detached house in the middle of Wales will not command the same average rent as an identical house in Kensington.
  • More than one survey is dependent on data from members who subscribe to that body – so having no member in a town rules the area out of the survey, when the rents could completely alter the data for the county.

Now, the Residential Landlord Association is calling on the government to institute a n official, national survey.

That would seem a good idea as long as the figures are not massaged.


About Editor

Feel free to send comments or requests for content to the Landlord Syndicate editorial team

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply