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Report shows social landlords’ rent arrears and number of lets have fallen

The latest report from the Scottish Housing Regulator shows social landlords’ level of rent arrears and number of lets made have both fallen.

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The Scottish Housing Regulator has published January’s monthly dashboard report.  The report is designed to help the Scottish Government and social landlords understand the Coronavirus pandemic’s continuing impact and support the Social Housing Resilience Group’s work. 

The latest dashboard sets out the position at the end of January after the regulator had suspended the December monthly return.  

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. 

January’s dashboard shows that aggregate rent arrears have fallen after increases in the two previous dashboards. This is driven by a significant decrease in arrears for local authorities, while arrears for registered social landlords (RSLs) increased for the first time since August.  

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, 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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