Regulator’s National Panel highlights tenant concern about future rent affordability

Iain Muirhead
Iain Muirhead

A survey by the Scottish Housing Regulator’s National Panel of Tenants and Service Users has uncovered a high level of tenant concern about future rents remaining affordable.

A new report by the National Panel revealed that almost 80 per cent of those who took part in the Panel survey have concerns about the affordability of rents in the future. Tenants’ concerns focus on future rent increases and changes to their income.

The report brings together headline findings from the National Panel’s third year. Panel members also said that the quality of their home, affordable rent and speed of response to emergency repairs remain central to being a ‘satisfied customer’.

Four in five Panel members said their landlord’s performance is similar or better than two years ago. Members were most positive about improvements in emergency repairs performance and tenant engagement.

Two in three Panel members feel well-informed about how their landlord is performing, although there has been an increase in members who don’t feel they know enough about their landlord’s performance.

Iain Muirhead, the Regulator’s director of strategy and communications, said “We have been talking about rents and affordability for a couple of years now. We expect landlords to consider tenants’ ability to keep paying their rent in the longer term when setting rents. The Panel’s concern on future rent affordability reinforces the importance of this message.

“This report gives us a great insight into individuals’ priorities and experiences, and we’ll be using the detailed findings to support our analysis of landlords’ Charter data. Later this year we’ll publish further reports looking at homelessness services, anti-social behaviour and value for money.”

The report also features the results of a short text message and web-based survey on landlords’ most recent rent consultation. The Regulator is using the results in its thematic inquiry on landlords’ rent consultation, which it will publish later this year.

The Panel has almost 500 members. It is open to anyone who is a social housing tenant or uses social landlords’ services. Membership is diverse and includes people from urban and rural areas, across age bands, local authority and RSL tenants. Anyone interested in joining the Panel should contact Craigforth.

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