Regulator’s National Panel reinforces scale of financial difficulties facing tenants

Regulator’s National Panel reinforces scale of financial difficulties facing tenants

Iain Muirhead

The full extent of the financial difficulties being experienced by tenants has been highlighted by new research from the Scottish Housing Regulator.

The report brings together feedback from the National Panel of Tenants and Service Users.

A quarter of panel members who responded said that they are not currently managing well financially, with around 6 in 10 saying that their financial circumstances are worse than before the pandemic. Many linked these difficulties to increased cost of living and rent increases. More than 7 in 10 were concerned about the future affordability of their rent.

More than half of respondents had experienced difficulty heating their home, with more than double the number from the previous year stating energy costs as the main factor contributing to these difficulties.

The insight into tenants’ financial circumstances was part of the annual programme of research from the Regulator’s National Panel, which combines quantitative results with qualitative findings. Panel members also fed back on the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on services from their landlord and accessing services digitally.

Iain Muirhead, the Regulator’s director of digital and business support, said: “Once again, the National Panel report has highlighted the very real and continuing challenges being faced by tenants and their families in the current difficult economic context. This is even more sobering given that the survey work took place last year before the cost of living crisis started to escalate to its current level. This report helps to illustrate the critical and continued importance of the work landlords can do to support their tenants, including those who are struggling financially.”

The research was carried out for the Regulator by Engage Scotland.

The Panel has around 470 members. It is open to anyone who is a social housing tenant or uses social landlords’ services.

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