Housing Regulator’s new report highlights importance of rent consultation

Housing Regulator’s new report highlights importance of rent consultation

The Scottish Housing Regulator has published a report highlighting how important it is for social landlords to consult with their tenants annually on rent levels.

The report is a result of an inquiry carried out to find out how social landlords go about consulting their tenants about proposed rent increases.

There are nearly 610,000 social housing tenants in Scotland paying an average of almost £73 per week for their rent. For most, this is a large part of their disposable income. And earlier in the year the Regulator highlighted that nearly 80 per cent of those who took part in its National Panel survey have concerns about the affordability of rents in the future.

The report states that landlords need to know what their current and future tenants can afford to pay when considering any increase to their rent. The Regulator found some landlords engage positively with their tenants about the costs and options for providing services and seek their views on potential rent increases. But other landlords need to do more to discuss with their tenants what they can afford and give them information about options for potential rent increases.

Christine Macleod, director of governance and performance, said: “The decision about how much – if at all – tenants’ rents should rise is one of the most important that landlords need to consult their tenants about. We found some landlords consult well with their tenants but others need to do more to talk to their tenants about what level of rent is affordable for them and what they want their rent to pay for.”

The Regulator’s report includes a number of recommendations to social landlords around the need for them to understand what is an affordable rent for their tenants. Landlords should also ask their tenants how they want to be consulted, give them information about their rent and what it is spent on, and tell them how their views have been considered.

Read the report on the Regulator’s website.

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