Regulator finds falling levels of rent arrears and number of lets

Regulator finds falling levels of rent arrears and number of lets

A significant decrease in arrears for local authorities resulted in a drop in aggregate rent arrears during January, despite arrears for Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) increasing for the first time since August, the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) has found.

The Regulator noted in its latest monthly dashboard report that the fall in arrears follows increases in the two previous dashboards. 

The report, which had been suspended for the month of December, is designed to help the Scottish Government and social landlords to understand the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic and to support the work of the Social Housing Resilience Group.

In January, 1,430 fewer homes became empty compared to the previous return in November; a 29% reduction. The number of lets made by landlords also fell by more than a third in January, and of the lets made, 41% were to people experiencing homelessness.

RSL staff placed on furlough has more than doubled since November, with nearly 900 employees placed on furlough in January.  This is the highest this figure has been since July.

Due to planned changes in its recording system, the City of Edinburgh Council could not provide figures for the homelessness indicators in time for publication. Given this, the dashboard does not show figures for the change from the previous month for the homelessness indicators. Excluding Edinburgh, there was a 2% reduction in the number of households in temporary accommodation, and a 6% increase in the number of people who applied to local authorities as homeless.

One landlord has corrected the data it had submitted between November and January for the number of Notice of Proceedings issued for non-payment of rent.  The corrected data results in a significant reduction in the overall figures for Notice of Proceedings issued by social landlords.

Social landlords have been providing the Regulator with a monthly return on a small set of key measures that focus on the main areas of impact on landlords’ operations.

Landlords are due to submit the next monthly return on 8 March 2021.

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