Regulator underlines need for landlords to keep rents affordable

Regulator underlines need for landlords to keep rents affordable

Michael Cameron

The Scottish Housing Regulator has underlined the need for landlords to keep rents affordable for their tenants.

Speaking at a Tenant Information Service event on rent setting and affordability on Thursday, the Regulator’s chief executive Michael Cameron referenced a report from its National Panel of Tenants and Service Users on Rent Consultation which set out that over a third of Panel members experienced difficulties in affording their rent.

Analysis of data contained in landlords’ annual returns on the Social Housing Charter also found that the average rent increase in 2018/19 was 3.7%. This is up on the previous year’s level of 2.4% and is at the highest level since monitoring began in 2013.  Four-fifths of landlords increased rent in 2018/19 at a rate above inflation (Consumer Price Index).

The Regulator also found that more than four-fifths of all landlords plan rent rises above inflation in the coming year; only four landlords plan to keep rents at the same level and none plan to cut rents.

In his address, Mr Cameron said: “It’s important that landlords demonstrate to their tenants that their rents will remain affordable and that they are having effective dialogue with their tenants on rent levels and increases.

“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.”

The full speech is available on the Regulator’s website.

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