The number of households becoming homeless from private rented tenancies in Scotland is now higher than it was pre-pandemic, according to new government data.
It reveals that homelessness from a private rented tenancy accounted for 19% of homeless households between April and September 2022, an increase from 14% the previous year and from 17% in 2019. The main reason was being asked to leave (down from 27% to 25%) but there was a notable increase in '�other action by landlord resulting in the termination of tenancy', which surpassed pre-pandemic levels (up from 6% to 11%).
The Scottish government says that the slight increase in '�termination of tenancy/mortgage due to rent arrears/default on payments' (up from 1% to 2%) was likely a result of the end of the ban on evictions, home repossessions and mortgage deferrals in September 2021.
The figures show that homelessness applications, open applications, and households in temporary accommodation have all increased. There were 28,944 open homelessness applications in September 2022, an increase of 11% from 2021 and the highest since records began in 2002. There were 19,066 homelessness applications recorded from April to September, an increase of 6%.
The government says the increases were partly the result of the backlog of cases built up during Covid and the ongoing cost and supply issues for materials and lack of tradespeople required to provide settled accommodation. Its Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act introduced last October to protect residential tenants from increases in rent and from eviction won't have impacted the data, which only covers up to 30th September.
Earlier this month, The Scottish Association of Landlords, Scottish Land and Estates and Propertymark announced they were seeking a judicial review of the legislation after hearing that rent controls for the PRS would continue, but would be removed for the social rented sector from 1st March.