Indigo House (Rent Better)
Understanding the impact on tenants and landlords of recent changes in the Scottish private rented sector.
Why we are funding this project
The learning from this research will help to shape further changes needed to support the Scottish approach and it will also make the case for modernisation to the private rented sector in other parts of the UK.
To provide robust evidence that can be used to inform policy and practice of the solutions to address the issues of cost, quality, security and access in the private rented sector.
The Nationwide Foundation has commissioned a three-year study that will learn from the experiences of households living in and landlords operating in the private rented sector in Scotland. The learning will help to shape further changes needed to support the Scottish approach and it will also make the case for modernisation of the private rented sector in other parts of the UK.
Indigo House Group, a housing and social inclusion consultancy, will undertake widescale quantitative and qualitative research. This will look at whether changes to the tenancy regime in Scotland are creating security of tenure, protecting against excessive rent increases and empowering tenants. It will also gather the perspectives of landlords, local authorities and advice agencies on how the new regulations are working.
Two recent changes represent significant transformation to Scottish private rented sector legislation:
• Private Residential Tenancy: The Private Residential Tenancy introduced in 2017 means that there are no fixed terms to tenancies, landlords cannot use no-fault evictions and rents can only increase once per year.
• First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (housing and property chamber): In the last two years, the tribunal’s remit has increased to deal with more disputes in the sector, such as tenancy terms, evictions and lettings agents.
Robustly reviewing the changes provides a huge opportunity to get to the heart of security of tenure, affordability and consumer power in the private rented sector.
In February 2020, Indigo House launched ‘Rent Better’, an online hub for its research into the private rented sector in Scotland.
In November 2020, Indigo House launched a full set of baseline findings from its work looking at changes to the Scottish private rented sector. The findings, informed by a surveys of renters, landlords and letting agents, found that where a positive tenant/landlord relationship exists, people feel secure in their homes. This said, where deprivation or a lack of financial power is an issue, renters still feel a sense of precarity. Further research findings are expected in 2021.
The Nationwide Foundation believes that the evidence from the experience in Scotland should be used to make further improvements to the Scottish private rented sector, as well as providing essential insight to inform policymaking in other areas of the UK.Back to current funding