Sector finances remain sound, but challenges around arrears and rent affordability remain a concern, says Regulator


12 November 2019

The financial performance of most registered social landlords (RSLs) remains strong, but challenges around increased arrears and voids as well as above-inflation rent increases remain a concern. This was the key message from the Scottish Housing Regulator to finance professionals at today’s SFHA Annual Finance Conference.

Ian Brennan, Director of Regulation, said:

“Sector finances remain sound. But those strong finances have been built around rent increases that are, on average, above inflation.

“Rent affordability will continue to be a priority for us, in how we monitor risk to tenants’ interests.

“We see increasing challenges around rent affordability and we will be engaging to get assurance that RSLs are doing everything possible to keep rents affordable.”

In a wide ranging speech, Ian also discussed tenant and resident safety, the need for landlords to have strong Cybersecurity controls in place, Brexit, and the Regulator’s new Framework.

On tenant and resident safety, Ian said:

“Some landlords are facing substantial bills to rectify historic under-investment and non-compliance with legislation and regulations around tenant and resident safety. We will be looking to RSLs to assure themselves that they are fully compliant with regulations on tenant and resident safety. We will also want to see adequate provision in business plans to ensure future compliance.”

Read Ian's speech 

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