RLA calls for single rental index

by Sarah Ashcroft

A survey needs to be carried out to ascertain the levels of rent being paid in the UK.

This is according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and the group is calling on the government and the private rented sector (PRS) to come together to complete the investigation, as various studies point to a major discrepancy in this area. 

For example, a study by letting agents Belvoir discovered typical UK rent is £682 a month, while this figure increases dramatically to £1,974 in research carried out by the Association of Residential Lettings Agents.

Data from the Office for National Statistics found that rents across England in the 12 months to September 2012 stood at £705, which represents a 1.3 per cent year-on-year hike. This highlights how there is a lack of consensus in the sector.

Alan Ward, chair of the RLA, said: "When making policy it is vital that ministers have clear and authoritative data from which to make their decisions.

"As there is a great deal of media and political attention focused on the private rented 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."

Mr Ward stated that the only way to ensure public confidence in data on private rents is for the creation of one rental level index, as this way all parties will have "complete confidence" in the system and have a useful reference point. 

In order to avoid any disputes after a tenancy agreement has been signed, landlords and tenants need to agree upon how much the rent will be and stick to it. If people are having troubles meeting their rental payments, then property owners could look to put an action plan in place so they can stagger the money they owe.

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Published on: February 5, 2013

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