Research: How to benchmark a rental property

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Most Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) leases will allow for a rent review once per year. As a property investor / landlord, how can you quickly benchmark the rental value of a property against similar properties in the surrounding area?

PropertyData has the answer in our powerful Local Data tool, in the Research section of the site. Start by creating a new area of interest, around the property you are looking to benchmark:

Use the data gauge on the left to ensure you have sufficient data to find comparables, but not so much data that the comparisons become meaningless.

Once you click 'Generate data', after a short pause you'll see the Local Data dashboard. Switch over to the 'Rental' tab at the top, and you'll see scatter plots of current on-market asking rents broken down by the number of bedrooms in the property:

These scatter plots can look complex, but let's take a look at how they work. The green average line shows the average for each size of property, while below the scatter plot you'll see the 80% range illustrated.

Let's say we're interested in 3-bedroom properties. Click the 'zoom' icon in the top right of that plot to zoom in, and hide the rest:

Every dot represents a property currently on the market for rent. Starting near the average line, click a dot and click 'View details' to open the property fact sheet.

You'll see the headline data (address, price, beds/type) along with images, price history, and a description.

Based on how this property compares to your reference property, select some further properties to the left (cheaper) or right (more expensive) of the average line.

By continuing this process, you will be able to determine which properties most closely match the attributes of your reference property, and therefore a reasonable asking rent would be for that property.

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