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New way of measuring rent rises coming in next March

The government’s Office for National Statistics is introducing a new way of measuring rent rises from the spring.

It will double the sample it uses from 250,000 rents to about 500,000 a year.

Analysts say that had the new sample been used in recent years it would have reflected slightly higher rent increases than those officially recorded by the ONS.


The Financial Times calculates that average annual growth in rents between January 2016 and October this year would be 2.8 per cent rather than 2.1 per cent.

That would have lifted the average annual growth in the overall Consumer Prices Index  from 3.4 to 3.5 per cent over the same period.

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    The method of collecting data on rentals makes a huge difference to the results.

    Some of us are sent official surveys to fill in by the Valuation Office but it's questionable how accurate a picture those surveys present. I used to include all my rents but then realised that was a complete disservice to myself, my tenants and the PRS as a whole. The fact I may choose to keep someone's rent artificially low shouldn't negatively impact other people. Now I only occasionally fill in the survey and when I do I only provide a sample of my most recently let properties that best represent current market rents.

    A more accurate source of recently let properties would be from the Deposit Protection companies. They ask how much the annual rent is when a deposit is protected. It would be very simple for them to ask a few more questions such as number of bedrooms, HMO or self contained unit.

    Ultimately a tenancy is a private agreement between two private parties. Accurate data is always going to be incredibly hard to obtain.

    Richard LeFrak

    Absolutely Spot On Jo, anything run by the ONS will be skewed to reflect the current political direction of travel.


    You are quite right as usual.


    When I ran my business I was frequently pestered by ONS wanting turnover figures between two specific dates.

    My turnover was very lumpy and not at all uniform week to week so I suggested that they accept the figures from my last VAT or annual report and pro rata it but neither was acceptable.

    I therefore just gave them pro rated figures anyway which ticked their box and kept them happy.

    ONS and other public funded statistical research is just a total waste of public money with much more accurate figures easily and cheaply available from existing statutory sources.

    There's also a massive difference on rent increases imposed on existing tenants and those asked from new tenants moving in who will typically be only too happy to pay current market rents and just be thankful to be selected ahead of many others by ever more discerning landlords.

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    I would argue that neither 2.1% or 2.8% reflect ,most tenants experience! Mine all went up by 5% this year. Averages are just a statistic & are usually pretty meaningless.

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    Mine went up 8% this year, and will go up the same next year 💰, I am still below market rent 🤔

    Richard LeFrak

    Mine very similar Simon and all now with annual increases built in.


    Same here, mine went up 10% last year and it will be the same this year. It will all go towards increased mortgage interest. I gave them 6 months notice last year and will do the same again, so if they want to move they can. Also they have time to find better paid job or more hours or whatever to increase household income. So far they have all been OK with it except one household where they are working less hours, so section 21 soon for them I am afraid.


    My April batch went up 7% on the basis that was how much Social rent increases were capped at this year so it would be totally unrealistic for PRS tenants to expect any less. Also the Local Authority could hardly refuse a DHP for a rent shortfall that matched their own rent increase.
    My October batch of rent increases were mainly 9% as the BoE has been incessant.

    It doesn't fully cover this years mortgage increases but every little helps

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    Those flats which had new student tenants last May or June had rent increases of between 25% and 33%, having been unchanged for about 5 years.

    Those with existing tenants, who would previously not have any increase, were increased by the maximum allowed by the SNP and their little Green helpers - a princely 3%, which was hardly worth the effort but couldn't be consolidated into a 6% or 9% increase after 2 or 3 years. The days of leaving current rents unchanged for years or until a change of tenancy are now over in the People's Republic of Scotland.


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