Charging of Premiums in the Private Rented Sector - Analysis of Consultation Responses

The research report presents the findings from an analysis of responses to the charging of premiums in the private rented sector consultation. The findings show who has responded to the consutlation and the key themes emerging from the responses.

2. Overview of Responses


2.1 This section provides an overview of the responses received to the consultation. It considers who the responses came from, who was not represented in the response, and provides general comments on the responses.

Who replied to the consultation?

2.2 The consultation was publicised to a broad range of consultees with an interest in the issues. Consultees included letting agents; local authorities; housing; consumer and industry stakeholders; and other interested or relevant organisations and individuals.

2.3 A total of 424 responses were received to the consultation from organisations and private individuals (Annex 1), including two petitions. Of these, we identified four groups of identical responses submitted with different names on the Respondent Information Form (RIF).

2.4 Of the 424 responses to the consultation, 300 responses were submitted as a result of a publicity exercise by Shelter, of which 201 were identical responses. In addition, ten identical responses came from the Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group (EPTAG), five identical responses from private individuals and two identical responses from letting agents. Following the standard approach adopted by the Scottish Government, we have treated each group of identical responses as 'campaigning' and therefore as single responses for quantitative analytical purposes. We also treated each petition as a single response.

2.5 This meant that 214 were not included as individual responses resulting in there being a total of 210 responses to be analysed. Where respondents have shared responses and submitted similar (but not identical) responses, these have been included in the analysis.

Table 2.1: Distribution of Responses to Charging of Premiums in the PRS Consultation

Type Total received % of responses
Private Individual 133 63
Letting agent 38 18
Professional/ representative or trade bodies 15 7
Local Authority 10 4
Other 5 2
Public petitions and campaigns 5 2
Voluntary organisation / Charity 4 2
Total 210 100

2.6 As Table 2.1 shows, the largest group of responses (63%) came from private individuals. The next most significant respondent group was from letting agents (18%). However, it is worth noting that a number of letting agents chose to respond as private individuals and this number is therefore understated. Other significant respondent groupings were professional / representative and trade bodies (7%) and local authorities (4%). There were five responses each (2%) from the 'other' category and from the 'public petitions / campaigns' category. This latter group included the 'campaign' responses through Shelter and EPTAG. There were four responses (2%) from voluntary and charitable organisations.

Who was not represented in the responses?

2.7 Responses came from a wide cross-section of organisations and individuals with an interest in the proposals.

2.8 Although the second largest respondent group, less than 10 per cent of the estimated number of letting agents in Scotland submitted a response. However, responses were received from two letting agent representative bodies. Less than a third of local authorities (31%) responded to the consultation.

The interpretation of quantitative and qualitative information

2.9 The analysis used both a quantitative and qualitative approach. A quantitative approach was used to demonstrate how strongly different elements of the proposals were supported or opposed. This was particularly appropriate due to the use of 'tick boxes' for the questions relating to each of the proposed options. The report uses tables to identify the general opinion among respondents. In a small number of cases, respondents gave a narrative response to a particular question but did not use the tick box. In these cases, where the comment clearly implied agreement or disagreement with the proposal, we have assumed either 'yes' or 'no' for the quantitative analysis. Where the comment was non-committal in terms of agreement, we have included the answer as 'other comments'.

2.10 A qualitative approach has been the main focus of the analysis, based on what people said and trends in views. This qualitative approach has allowed us to identify the key themes emerging from the consultation and particular areas of agreement and disagreement among respondent groupings.


Email: Paul Sloan

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