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Affordability remains a concern for a significant number of tenants

Affordability continues to be a concern for a number of renters north of the border, according to a fresh report from the Scottish Housing Regulator’s National Panel of Tenants and Service Users. 

The report reveals that more than a third of members have experienced difficulties in affording rent, while over two-thirds are concerned about the future affordability of their rent.

Rent increases above the rate of inflation and changes to income, particularly through changes in benefits, are the main causes for concern, the report found. 


The report, the third of four themed reports from the National Panel, which has around 425 members, is open to anyone who is a social housing tenant or uses social landlords’ services.

Michael Cameron, the Regulator’s chief executive, commented: “What is an affordable rent is a complex matter – local context and markets, the interaction with benefits and tax credits, trade-offs with fuel costs all add to that complexity. 

“And all landlords are not starting from the same position on rent levels, and some may be able to increase rents at a higher level and keep them affordable.

“But the simple arithmetic is that, no matter the starting point, rents that increase above inflation are likely to become less affordable.”

The Regulator analysed landlords’ data from their annual returns on the Social Housing Charter and found that the average rent increase in 2018/19 was 3.7%, which is higher than the previous year’s level of 2.4%, and this was the highest level since monitoring began in 2013.

Four-fifths of landlords increased rent in 2018/19 at a rate above inflation.

The Regulator also found that more than four-fifths of landlords plan rent rises above inflation in the coming year. 

Cameron added: “The level of rent increase will feature prominently in our assessment of the risk each landlord presents, landlords should be asking themselves whether they are doing everything possible to be efficient and drive costs from their business before passing costs on to tenants.”

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    A big thank you to the SNP for scaring off many prospective and previous landlords and thus reducing the competition and availability of rental properties. Market forces have therefore caused rents to soar for the best properties over the last 2 to 3 years, after staying almost static for the previous 15 years. Thanks Nicola - but I'll still never vote for you and your loony policies!

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    Of course rents are rising above inflation, our costs are rising above inflation, whatever the business costs are always passed onto the end user, this isn't a game, we are not charities, we are init to make a profit, and make a profit we will

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    I wonder what else has caused rents to increase in Scotland ???

    Not the change in tenancy regulation in December 2017 perhaps !

    When are governments going to learn that meddling in business has other consequences.


    This loony legislation has just recently led to a massive shortage of accommodation for Edinburgh Festival visitors as Student accommodation, usually available for the Festival, couldn't be advertised early enough as the sitting tenants now only need to give 4 weeks notice. The result is that Landlords need to recoup higher rents from the longer term tenants as the short term rentals couldn't be relied upon this summer. The SNP were warned about this but ignored it as they ignore all common sense financial arguments.

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    • 27 August 2019 16:35 PM

    The Scottish experience is a far milder version as to what it will be like with Corbyn in charge.
    English LL should be very fearful of Labour gaining power.
    Only an idiot LL would ever vote Labour!

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    The regulator chief hasn’t mentioned Sec 24 tax the main driver of rent increases. This is how thorough his analysis truly is.
    A LL can only let at the market rent. The only houses at below market are poor quality ones exactly the same as car prices when you think about it.
    You pay for what you get and you deserve what you pay for


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