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Official figures confirm Scotland's PRS is shrinking

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The Scottish government has published new evidence that confirms the country’s private rented sector is getting smaller.

Its annual Scottish Household Survey (SHS) quizzed 10,500 households in March 2023 and found the proportion in the private rented sector had dropped from 15% (360,000 households) in 2017 to 14% (340,000 households) in 2019 and 13% (320,000 households) in 2022.

It adds that data on the PRS from properties registered by the Scottish Landlord Register indicates a similar fall, from 15% (361,884 households) in 2017 to 14% (342,425 households) in 2019 and 13% (338,237 households) in 2022.

Rent control

While Scottish government ministers have previously insisted large numbers of private landlords haven’t been leaving the sector, the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) is adamant that it is shrinking, contributing to rent rises. Many fear the introduction of the Housing (Scotland) Bill which paves the way for the creation of rent control zones following rent freezes and no-eviction policies introduced in 2022 by the Greens and SNP.

Earlier this year, SAL said there could be around 22,000 fewer homes available to rent in Scotland at the start of 2024 than just a year ago, following a membership survey.

Growing regulation

South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) is the latest body to warn that landlords are quitting due to growing regulation and uncertainty over future policy, reports The Times.

In its submission to a government consultation on the housing bill, SOSE says: “We are very concerned about the fragility of the private rental sector in the South of Scotland and the risk that more landlords will sell their properties, further reducing supply of much needed private rental properties.”


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scottish association of landlords