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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-05302: Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 5 December 2016

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide details of the (a) level of existing rents and (b) length of tenure in the private rented sector and whether the data can be broken down by (i) urban area, (ii) rural area and (iii) places with a population of less than 1,000.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 19 December 2016

Information on average private sector rent levels by Broad Rental Market Area and size of property is published annually by the Scottish Government. The most recent publication ‘Private Sector Rent Statistics Scotland, 2010 to 2016’, released in November 2016, is available at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/11/3295.

This publication uses data from the Rent Service Scotland market evidence database which is used to determine annual Local Housing Allowance and Local Reference Rents. The data is collected to be representative at each Broad Rental Market Area level only, and therefore is not suitable for analysis by specific urban or rural categories, or by areas with a population of less than 1,000.

Information on the average length of tenure in the private rented sector, as measured by the length of time that an adult has been living at their current address at the point of interview, is available in Table 3.4 of the ‘Scottish Household Survey: Annual Report 2015’ at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/09/7673. This shows that in the year 2015 adults in the private rented sector had been at their address for an average of 2.6 years at the time of being interviewed. Further analysis of this data using the Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification shows that adults in private rented properties in rural areas had been living at their address for an average of 5.4 years. This compares to an average length of 2.2 years for adults living in private rented properties in urban areas. Table 1 provides further details on the percentage of adults in the Private Rented Sector by time period categories, and the estimated number of adults that these percentages relate to.

Table 1: Length of time at current address in the Private Rented Sector, by urban and rural areas (%)

Length of time at current address

Urban

Rural

All

Less than one year

46

22

43

1 - 2 years

29

25

28

3 - 4 years

12

24

14

5 - 10 years

9

13

10

11 to 20 years

2

10

4

More than 20 years

1

6

2

 

 

 

 

Average time at current address

2.2

5.4

2.6

All

100

100

100

Base

990

210

1200

There are approximately 350,000 Private Rented Sector households in Scotland, of which 289,000 are in urban areas and 61,000 are in rural areas. Based on the Scottish Government urban / rural classification, an urban area is defined as a settlement of 3,000 or more people, and a rural area is a settlement of less than 3,000 people.

It is not possible to provide a figure for properties in areas of less than 1,000 people as this is not a standard rural classification used in the survey.