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Figures from the latest Rent Check reportproduced by BDRC Continental and Allsop LLP, show that Britons are increasingly at home with renting rather than buying their home. The vast majority of tenants in the study – 91% – said that their rented property was their ‘home’ rather than a temporary roof over their heads.

The survey shows that many landlords also see the private rental market as a long term option – although better communication between landlord and tenant would not go amiss. Almost one half of tenants (45%) in the survey worry that they may lose their rented home should the landlord terminate the tenancy.

 Although the average tenant’s stay in a rented property is now two and a half years, three quarters (75%) of tenants have been renting privately for over four years – and 41% of those have been in the same property for the entire time. And at an average of three years for the retired and 2.8 years for families, these are the tenants who stay in rented properties the longest.

Landlords committed to renting for the long term
Almost all the landlords surveyed in September are committed to the letting market for the long term, seeing it as a good source of income compared to investments or savings. In fact, of the 1,019 private landlords surveyed 68% rated their expectations of their letting business over the next three months to be either good or very good. This is nearly back to the pre-recession level recorded in Q3 2007 of 71%. Almost one quarter (23%) are actively looking to expand their letting portfolio, and only 7% plan to sell their rental property in the next 12 months.
The impact of the Help to Buy scheme
The Government’s Help to Buy scheme should appeal to many of those living in rented accommodation. In the latest National Landlords’ Association Tenants’ Panel survey, 27% of tenants plan to buy a home, but more – 39% – will continue to rent. These people may be deterred by the lack of a 5% deposit or being unable to afford to buy in their preferred area, while some may simply prefer the freedom offered by private tenancies. Whatever the reason, Help to Buy has not impacted private landlords’ confidence in the business of letting.
Comparing rental rates across the country
Rent Check measures actual rents paid for a variety of property types agreed by more than 1,500 private landlords in England and Wales who are members of the National Landlords’ Association (NLA).
The table below shows a comparison of rates over the past 13 months to September 2013 for two bed flats and three bed properties. Most areas have seen an increase in rental rates – the most significant in the South West and East Midlands. Price drops were experienced in five regions – the East of England, Wales, the North West, and Yorkshire and Central London (Zones 1-2)
Average rent pcm by property type and region
Rounded to the nearest £5
2 bed flat pcm
3 bed property pcm
April – Sept 13
Sept 12 – Mar 13
April – Sept 13
Sept 12 – Mar 13
London (zones 1-2)
 £      1,515
 £      1,815
London (zones 3-6)
 £      1,065
 £      1,435
South East
 £         695
 £         935
East England
 £         665
 £         830
South West
 £         635
 £         720
 £         585
 £         665
North West
 £         560
 £         630
West Midlands
 £         545
 £         620
 £         530
 £        615
East Midlands
 £         520
 £         550
North East
 £         480
 £         500
Source: BDRC Continental The ‘Rent Check’ Sept 2012 to Sept 2013
Allsop LLP says: “Increasing property prices combined with strong and, in many regions, increasing rents are solidifying landlords’ commitment to the private rented sector, encouraging them to expand rather than contract their rental portfolios.  For tenants this means a commitment to hold their properties for the long term, which, despite tenants’ fears on the contrary, is likely to signify increased security and inevitably longer tenancies.”
Mark Long, Director at BDRC Continental, says: “The data we have collected for the latest Rent Check report points to an extremely positive outlook for the private rental sector. This report will dispel a number of myths around rent inflation and tenancy duration, presenting, we think, a more balanced view of sector dynamics.”

Notes to editor

The ‘Tenants Panel’ is a quarterly, quantitative survey of current tenants in the UK’s private rental sector undertaken by the National Landlords Association. Launched in Q1 2013, each wave has attracted over 500 responses from tenants recruited from commercially available sample sources.

How we create the ‘Rent Check’

The guide uses real landlord experience and rents agreed rather than the headline asking prices published for marketing purposes and commonly listed by letting agents. This is important because data from the first report indicates that actual rental income is different to the initial advertised asking rent for nearly a third of all lettings. We survey landlords in each region of England and Wales to provide indicative rental analysis on the basis of both region and property type.  Data gathered for this purpose has been analysed and scrutinised by BDRC Continental’s research analysts and draws on their years of experience in both consumer research and the private rental market.

About the authors

The ‘Rent Check’ is the result of collaboration between one of the UK’s leading property consultancies, Allsop LLP (, and the UK’s largest independent research consultancy, BDRC Continental.  It tracks the experience of a large sample of members of the National Landlord Association (NLA), providing a statistically significant overview of the rental market over six months. 1,536 landlords were interviewed for the first report in the six months to March 2013, and 2,068 were interviewed April to September 2013.

Allsop is an independent property consultancy with a market-leading reputation for high quality service, integrity and innovation. We are also well known as the UK’s largest and most successful auction house.  Our success is built on over 100 years’ experience in commercial and residential property consultancy and sales.


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