Rental valuations: how agents unlock your property’s hidden value

Rental valuations: how agents unlock your property’s hidden value


The London lettings marketplace is a fast-moving and dynamic environment where pricing trends can change at short notice, often in a matter of weeks. This makes it hard for private landlords in the capital to accurately assess their property’s rental value.

Getting the price wrong – in either direction – can result in financial loss. Set it too high and it can deter applicants, leading to costly void periods. Conversely, valuable income is lost when the price is too low.

So how do you get the level of rent just right? When qualified professionals carry out a rental valuation, they start by examining the latest local price data for comparable properties. Then, they consider all the extra points that add value to your property, to unlock its full earning potential. Here are some of the key points they consider:

How much demand is there?

Letting agents are ideally placed to understand the level of demand for rental properties. That’s because they are constantly in touch with people who want to move to the area.

Through their work, they learn about everything that is happening on a local level. Changes to the local scene might include a major business relocation that brings more professionals to the area. Alternatively, a popular supermarket might have opened nearby, or a public transport improvement could be in the pipeline. Local developments like this can affect the demand for your property, and therefore the level of rent you will be able to charge.

Who wants to live here?

Understanding your target audience is vital when it comes to setting the right price. Letting agents know whether a particular area – and even a specific street – is more popular with a certain kind of renter.

Knowing whether your property is likely to attract young professionals, families, students or downsizers leads to a more accurate valuation. What’s more, your agent will almost certainly have a database of applicants who fit that demographic. This means you’ll be able to secure a tenant more quickly.

What is the property’s condition?

It’s no surprise that a property presented in pristine condition will command more attention (and rent) than one that looks tired and old-fashioned.

If you have been pondering the question “What’s the rental value of my property with, or without, refurbishment?” a good letting agent will give you an honest answer.

If you decide to refurbish, you can avoid costly mistakes by asking your agent for advice. They may even be able to advise you on upgrades – such as energy efficient features – that will make your property even more attractive to renters.

How popular is the location?

Location is a key consideration when you are assessing rental value. That doesn’t just refer to the street where the property is located, but the whole area. The accessibility of good transport links and the proximity to shops, schools, parks and other amenities will affect the final price calculation.

It’s also helpful to know when a less desirable area has been tipped as ‘up and coming’. That’s when the deep local knowledge of a professional letting agent can make a significant difference (especially when you are buying a property to let).

What are the property’s best features?

Does your property offer a particular advantage that could give it the edge?

Structural features might include a home office area, a utility room, an outdoor space, a balcony, garage or off-street parking. Interior benefits such as smart electronic systems, energy-saving appliances and underfloor heating can also increase your property’s appeal.

Currently, landlords can ban tenants from keeping pets, although the law is expected to change in future. At present, however, permission to keep a pet could make your property especially attractive to potential tenants.

Furnished or unfurnished?

The rental value of your property will not necessarily change if let as unfurnished. You will however make the property available to a much wider network of suitable applicants if you provide a furnished property as more than 70% of our tenants are looking for a furnished property. The more flexible you are able to be on furniture, the quicker you are likely to find a tenant.

Remember that you will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of any appliances you provide in a furnished property.

How can I get an accurate rental valuation?

While online rental valuation tools have improved in recent years, they don’t tell the whole story. The website advises taking instant valuations “with a pinch of salt” as they can be based on data which is out of date.

For an accurate valuation, it’s always better to request an in-person visit by a suitably qualified valuer. Daniel Cobb has been carrying out lettings valuations for almost thirty years, and we would love to help you achieve the best possible rent for your property. We also offer a highly acclaimed property management service to support busy landlords.

Working from offices in Westminster, London Bridge, Kennington, and Clapham, our experienced, ARLA-qualified lettings teams cover a wide area. Simply provide some basic details via our online form, and we’ll be in touch.