Scots fear eviction as rents for the most vulnerable rise by up to 8%

Rent increases approved by over 100 housing associations in Scotland average 5.34%, ranging from 0% to 8% as arrears hit a record high of £160m.

It comes after Tenants’ Rights Secretary Patrick Harvie said in January, amid concerns about rent increases, that voluntary agreements with social landlords would keep rents “well below those in the private market and limit increases next year”.

Soaring rents have raised concerns among homebuilders that evictions will also increase as tenants struggle to pay.

The typical rent increase in municipally managed apartments is 3.8%.

The development comes six months after the First Minister announced plans for an eviction ban and an immediate rent freeze for public housing and private tenants in September last year, when she described the cost-of-living crisis as a “humanitarian emergency”.

The Scottish Government later turned the freeze into a 3% rent cap, but decided it would only apply to tenants renting from private landlords.

However, this has not been extended to those renting from social sector landlords such as councils and housing associations, which tend to offer lower-cost accommodation occupied by the country’s poorest and most vulnerable.

The charity Crisis, meanwhile, has warned that Scotland’s homeless scheme is still not doing enough to prevent people being evicted from their homes.

Her analysis, based on first-hand interviews with homeless people from across Scotland, finds that the system can be “extremely difficult” for people in an emergency, as people with housing difficulties are often unable to get help until they actually lose their home.

READ MORE: Scotland’s public transport use falls by up to half

The rent increases come as data from the Housing Regulatory Authority shows the operating surplus of all registered social landlords in Scotland was £380.57 a year and a ‘marginal’ fall of 2.54%.


Tenants from Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association, which let around 800 flats, will see the largest rent increases at 8%. Also seeing the biggest gains are tenants renting 742 homes with the Clydesdale Housing Association, which will be impacted by a 7.5% increase.

Scotland’s largest publicly funded housing association and social landlord, the Wheatley Group, which owns and manages housing in 19 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, kept average increases in Glasgow at 3.9% and in the south of Scotland at 4.4%, but indicated that Rents required would rise by 5.4%.

Wheatley warned tenants in and around Glasgow that the 3.9% increase would mean a £7.8m cut in service and investment spending over the next three years.

They said this would mean “the highest level of changes to our existing rental housing services and investment plans”.

The company told tenants in a circular, “We would maintain spending on repairs and building security, but would have to reduce planned investments, such as bathrooms.”

READ MORE: Ferguson Marine: Chief Financial Officer caught up in bonus payments, ends row

Another of Scotland’s biggest social landlords, Edinburgh-based Link Group, which owns nearly 11,000 homes and serves 15,000 people, is looking to increase rents by 6%, an average increase of over £20 a month.

About 18 housing associations have set rents of 7%.

These include the Queens Cross Housing Association, which operates nearly 4,500 flats across Glasgow and has offered tenants the option of a 9% increase, or less than 7%.

The association said it laid out its financial pressures in a consultation, including costs in excess of inflation, and said tenants were “clear” they wanted to keep investing in their homes and creating new ones.

Sanctuary Scotland, which has 8,400 households, is still discussing a 7% increase from July 1, although a final decision has not yet been made.

Of over 130 housing associations, Scotland’s oldest not-for-profit charity Scottish Veterans Residences, which operates just 75 apartments, was the only one to have a rent freeze.

The Scottish Tenants’ Organization warned that the increases will “further impoverish social tenants during an existential livelihood crisis as tenants and their families struggle to support themselves and heat their homes”.

They said the surpluses show landlords don’t need to raise rents.

Aditi Jehangir, Secretary of Living Rent, said ministers had “given in” to lobbying by social landlords and confronted social tenants with “unaffordable rent increases”.

“Landlords who raise rents by lower amounts, like Wheatley Homes Glasgow, are cutting services and leaving tenants with a terrible choice between low rents or repairs. Social housing really should be affordable and of good quality, and tenants should not be left to their own devices or blackmailed into choosing repairs over affordable rent.

“The Scottish Government needs to invest properly in social housing and provide more support to social tenants if it is to ensure social tenants are not left behind.”

Link said they must offset the rising costs with continuing to improve the homes through a planned maintenance program and provide support and assistance through money and benefits counseling and other tenant support services.

“We would like to encourage any tenant who is experiencing financial difficulties to speak to us so that we can find a solution together,” said a spokesman.

Queens Cross Housing added: “Not only is inflation for repairs, investments and building services 20-25%, utilities are rising and the association is facing an increase in insurance coverage of more than 35%. There was a large number of responses to the consultation, with 57% of people choosing an increase of 7% or more. Based on this figure and customer feedback on the desired level of service, our board approved a 7% rent increase for 2023/24.”


Sean Clerkin, STO campaign coordinator, said there are action plans in place to protest “unnecessary rent increases in the coming weeks as we believe these rent increases will lead to a higher number of social tenants and their families will be evicted for rent arrears , which is unacceptable in 2023”.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Social pensions are already well below those in the private sector. We applaud the significant efforts by social landlords to keep rents well below inflation for the next fiscal year, with an average increase of 5% and many well below. These increases, based on consultation with tenants, will ensure landlords can maintain a balance between affordability and sustainable investment in social housing for the greater good.

“The cost of living crisis means many people are struggling and rising inflation means social landlords need to focus on the cost of basic services.

“That is why we have entered into voluntary agreements with social landlords to keep rents as low as possible while continuing to invest in services such as renovation and maintenance.” Scots fear eviction as rents for the most vulnerable rise by up to 8%

Grace Reader

TheHitc is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button