Regulator’s report shows increases in rent arrears


11 February 2022

The Scottish Housing Regulator today published the latest quarterly dashboard report, covering the period 1 October 2021 to 31 December 2021. 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.

The latest dashboard shows that aggregate rent arrears have risen to 6.53% of rent due. Social landlords can experience fluctuations in the level of arrears during the year, and it is not unusual for a peak in arrears around Christmas.  However, this is the highest level of arrears since the Regulator started collecting monthly and quarterly returns from social landlords in April 2020.

Social landlords made fewer lets in the quarter compared to the number made in each of the last three quarters. While the number of homes which became empty during the quarter dropped, the number of homes which were empty at the end of December 2021 was up at 10,089; the first time this has surpassed 10,000 since landlords started submitting the returns.

Applications to local authorities by people experiencing or threatened with homelessness dropped by 6% compared to the last quarter, and there was a small fall in the number of households in temporary accommodation (this fell by 1%, to 13,079).

The number of Registered Social Landlord (RSL) staff absent on the last day of the quarter also reached its highest rate during the pandemic, increasing to 988 (7.3%). Staff absence rates are collected for RSLs only.

Social landlords provided the Regulator with a monthly return on a small set of key measures that focus on the main areas of impact on landlords’ operations during 2020/21. From April 2021, the frequency of the returns changed from monthly to quarterly. The next return is due on 22 April 2022.

Read the dashboard reports.

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 eight 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