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Landlords urged to share data with a government department

A government department is asking landlords to share their data in a bid to improve services.

The Valuation Office Agency says it depends on “the goodwill and trust of landlords, letting agents and tenants” who provide details of rent levels being paid in the private rented sector, and claims some 500,000 such records are provided voluntarily each year. 

This has in fact been happening for the past eight years but the government is now making a renewed attempt to get new landlords to contribute.

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On a tweet it leads landlords to part of the VOA website which explains that this voluntary submission of data is then used to set Local Housing Allowance and Housing Benefit which help private tenants with their rent, to produce the official Private Rental Market statistics publicised by the government, and to calculate the private rental element of the Consumer Price and Retail Price indices, which are well known measures of price inflation which affect every citizen in the UK.

The basic information it requires includes the full rental property address, the type of property, number of bedrooms and living rooms, the date of the start of the tenancy, and the level of rent.

“Individual properties and the source of the rental information remain confidential. Data is held on a secure database. VOA Rent Officers are registered with the Information Commissioner and comply with the Data Protection Act 1998” says the department.

There are two templates it is offering to contributors - VOA lettings information form for room rents and VOA lettings information form for self-contained properties.

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  • George Dawes

    I’ve dealt with this lot , unfortunately

    Incompetence personified

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    If the data was used as the article specifies it may be a useful exercise. However, with the government freezing the LHA for prolonged periods it seems fairly pointless.
    I used to fill in the questionnaire every time it was sent but then it occurred to me that my tendancy to not increase rents for existing tenants was helping to keep the LHA impossibly low for anyone looking for a new tenancy.

    This time round I may do the rooms in shared house version as all of my rooms are more than the LHA shared house rate and I've just increased rents for the first time ever for long term existing tenants in HMOs. I certainly won't be doing the self contained property one as I am fully aware some of mine are far lower for the existing tenants than they would be should those tenants vacate and the property was re let. Giving the government data on artificially low rent would be a complete disservice to tenants in general. They already have some of that data anyway from UC claims.

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    I agree. I used to do this but I wrote to them a while back saying my rents are now well below market rate, and so it would be unfair for them to use this information. Not heard any more.

     
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    Government department combined with sharing my data = 😬😬

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    I have 1 property with a protected tenant in which is now coming up to a rent review, I'm allowed to increase the rent by inflation + 5% which of course at the present time is quite high, will be interesting to see if the rent officer agrees my calculations

    George Dawes

    Keep us updated Andrew , very informative

     
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    HMRC will have the days. Probably not as detailed.

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