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Rightmove and LSL clash as to direction of rents

Four in ten landlords plan to increase rents next year, with 10% planning rises of more than 5%.

But the findings, by LSL, flatly contradict a Rightmove survey reported on this site last week. According to Rightmove, only one in four landlords plans to raise rents next year, with the large majority (61%) intending to freeze them.

The conflicting surveys, both from seemingly authoritative sources, will add ammunition to those wanting to see official information on the private rented sector from the Office for National Statistics.

The Rightmove survey (which questioned 8,594 landlords and tenants) agrees with the LSL poll (which questioned 1,223) on one point: only 1% are actually planning to reduce rents.

They also agree that growing tenant demand has been a key factor in recent rent rises.

But whereas Rightmove’s sample of landlords seems to think that tenants’ finances can stand no more, LSL’s sample clearly believes that there is scope for more rental growth.

LSL, parent company of Reeds Rains and Your Move chains, says that in the past six months, 43% of landlords have seen tenant demand rise, while just one in twenty have seen demand decrease. Investors expect this growth to continue. Two thirds of landlords (65%) anticipate demand will increase further in the next 12 months, while just 3% expect demand to shrink.

Nearly half (49%) of landlords believe that now is a good time to invest in property, up from 48% in the previous quarter. In contrast, less than 1% think now is a good time to reduce their portfolios.
Landlords who think now is a good time to buy rental property cite attractive property prices (84%) and strong tenant demand (52%) as the two most enticing reasons, while 38% are seeing better returns than in other forms of investment.
As a result of strong tenant demand, just 15% of landlords in the LSL survey saw voids increase in the past year, but 58% experienced voids periods of less than two weeks, including 19% who saw no void periods at all.

Investors stated that the two main reasons for void periods in the last year were either from a delay while tenants’ references were checked (20%), or by marketing a property during a less busy period for the rental market (19%).

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