Lack of official data on rents is fuelling misinformation and leading to a false portrayal of the private rented sector.
The concern has been expressed by the British Property Federation, which said that most of the ‘unofficial surveys’ on rents ‘have their flaws’.
It said the surveys leave a lot to be desired.
The BPF said that figures often quote advertised rents, rather than those achieved, while figures are only based on new lets. The BPF said that there are only small sample sizes in some of the surveys.
Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “Some of the figures that have been bandied around trumpeting large rent increases are very misleading and do not reflect the picture across the entire country.
“While in some hotspots rents are rising more than average, across the country as a whole about 85% of rents are rising below the Consumer Price Index.”
A consultation has just closed on whether there should be an official rents survey, based on Valuation Office Agency data and large sample size.
Currently, LSL produces a long-standing survey based on new asking price rents. Move with Us came out with a new survey this autumn, but its findings for September and October were at odds with LSL. Another new rental survey is produced by tenancy referencing firm Homelet, based on agreed rents.