Throughout January there were various reports concerning surveys taken out by businesses or organisations that informed the public of the state of the private rented sector and the cost of rent. However, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has complained that many of the results of each independent survey are conflicting and therefore there is no clear idea of whether rent prices are actually increasing or decreasing. In an article published on their website, the RLA calls on the private rented industry and the government to “establish a common survey of the level of rents following an investigation showing a chasm between different rent surveys.”
Many of those that depend on the landlord industry would benefit from a survey that gives a clear view of the private rental sector, such as house builders and landlord insurance providers. Without it, many will be unsure as to whether investing in the market will be beneficial, meaning that the current housing crises will not be alleviated. The RLA states that an investigation by letting agents Belvoir said that the average rent per month is £682, whilst in contrast the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) claims that is it actually £1,974.
Chair of the Residential Landlords Association, Alan Ward will today present these findings to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee inquiry on the Private Rented Sector. Discussing the findings, he said: “When making policy it is vital that ministers have a clear and authoritative data from which to make their decisions. As there is a great deal of media and political attention focussed on the private sector given its increasing size and concern over the impact of major reforms to housing benefits, it is worrying that ministers are making decisions based on unreliable and often widely different data.
“In the interests of good policy and to ensure public confidence in data on private rents, there needs to be one rental level index in which all parties can have complete confidence and which no longer gets driven by the commercial interests of letting agents.”