SHR report shows increase in rent arrears
The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) has published a new report revealing that aggregate rent arrears have risen to 6.53% of rent due.
The latest quarterly dashboard report, covering the period 1 October 2021 to 31 December 2021, 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.
Social landlords can experience fluctuations in the level of arrears during the year, and it is not unusual for a peak in arrears around Christmas. However, this is the highest level of arrears since the Regulator started collecting monthly and quarterly returns from social landlords in April 2020.
Social landlords made fewer lets in the quarter compared to the number made in each of the last three quarters. While the number of homes which became empty during the quarter dropped, the number of homes which were empty at the end of December 2021 was up at 10,089; the first time this has surpassed 10,000 since landlords started submitting the returns.
Applications to local authorities by people experiencing or threatened with homelessness dropped by 6% compared to the last quarter, and there was a small fall in the number of households in temporary accommodation (this fell by 1%, to 13,079).
The number of Registered Social Landlord (RSL) staff absent on the last day of the quarter also reached its highest rate during the pandemic, increasing to 988 (7.3%). Staff absence rates are collected for RSLs only.
Social landlords provided the Regulator with a monthly return on a small set of key measures that focus on the main areas of impact on landlords’ operations during 2020/21.
From April 2021, the frequency of the returns changed from monthly to quarterly. The next return is due on 22 April 2022.