Regulator report shows falling rent arrears and an increase in lets being made and homeless applications


29 April 2021

The Scottish Housing Regulator today published March’s monthly dashboard report. This report 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.

March’s dashboard shows that RSL rent arrears have fallen to their lowest level since the Regulator started collecting monthly returns from social landlords in April 2020. Local authority arrears have also decreased, and at an aggregate level, rent arrears are at their lowest since May 2020.

The number of lets made in March was the highest reported by social landlords since the monthly returns started, with lets to people experiencing homelessness surpassing 2,000 for the first time. This increase in letting activity sits alongside a 26% increase in the number of empty homes becoming available during March compared to February.

The planned changes to City of Edinburgh Council’s recording system mean that it has again been unable to provide figures for the homelessness indicators in time for publication. Excluding Edinburgh, there has been a 20% increase in the number of people who applied to local authorities as homeless compared to February. There was a small drop in the number of households in temporary accommodation (this fell by 1%).

Since April 2020, all 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. In March 2021, the Regulator wrote to all landlords to advise them that the frequency of the returns will change from monthly to quarterly. The first quarterly return will be due from landlords in July 2021. The Regulator will write to landlords shortly with further details.

View the monthly dashboards.

Notes to editors

  1. The Scottish Housing Regulator was established on 1 April 2011 under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010. Its objective is to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and others who use local authority and RSL housing services. The Regulator operates independently of Scottish Ministers and is accountable directly to the Scottish Parliament. It assumed its full regulatory responsibilities on 1 April 2012. The Regulator consists of the Chair and six Board members. More information about the Regulator can be found on its website at
  2. SHR sets out how it regulates social landlords in its published framework – Regulation of Social Housing in Scotland.


Tracy Davren Communications Manager