Please Note: This Article is 5 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

Buy to let rents increased by 1.7% in the year to December 2014, according to new government data.

The break down showed rents in England rose by an average 1.8%, while those in Scotland were up 2% and tenants paid just 0.2% more in Wales.

Regionally, rents in London showed the highest increase – rising 2.4% – followed by 2.1% in the South east.

However, rents rose in all regions.

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The figures come from the new Office of National Statistics experimental data.

The ONS wants to issue a new index some time during 2015 to take the place of commercial indices run by mortgage lenders, estate agents and insurance companies which are considered unreliable due to their restricted samples.

“Our index measures the change in price tenants face when renting residential property from private landlords, allowing a comparison between the prices tenants are charged in the current month as opposed to the same month in the previous year,” said the ONS.

“The index does not measure the change in newly advertised rental prices only, but reflects price changes for all private rental properties.”

As an example, if a tenant was paying £500 rent for a buy to let in December 2013, the index shows the payment would have risen to £508.50 during the year.

“We are assessing the methodology to make the data as accurate as we can,” said the ONS. “We are still tweaking the figures and will start an official index when we consider we have the underlying methodology right.”

No commercial firms are included in the data collection – the figures come from the Valuation Office Agency, Scottish Government and Welsh Government which have rental officers collecting price paid information for privately rented properties.

Data collection started in January 2011.

The move to set up an official rental index followed revelations in Parliament that ministers had to rely on buy to let rent information from private property firms for reports and forecasts.

Please Note: This Article is 5 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

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