Landlords in Scotland: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

You asked for the following information regarding landlords in Scotland:

  • How many landlords in Scotland are pensioners
  • How many landlords in Scotland own more than 2 properties
  • How many landlords in Scotland own properties in a limited company which hasn’t been trading for 2 years.
  • How many landlords in Scotland are classed as rural (e.g. farmers/estates)
  • A breakdown of landlords by different groupings - pensioners etc...


Regarding the scope of your request I have assessed that the 5 questions relate to information held on the Landlord Registration Scotland website, where they are included on the public register. You should note that most private rented sector landlords are required to register on the landlord registration Scotland web site. Some landlords in the private rented sector may be exempt from registration. Information on exemption from registration can be found at

Whilst the Scottish Government provides the on-line platform for the 32 Local Authorities in Scotland, we do not have access to the data or registration held on the system. Local authorities are responsible for making the determination on an application for registration and are data controllers for the information held on the database.

I can to provide the information that you requested on the number of landlords in Scotland who have more that 2 properties, this is based on information held by the Scottish Government as at May 2019, where there were approximately:

  • 228,212 registered landlords with 1 Property (94% of all registrations)
  • 12,317 registered landlords with 2 Properties (5 % of all registrations)
  • 1,757 registered landlords with 3 or more Properties (1% of all registrations)

The landlords with multiple registrations will tend to be large organisations and housing associations, with multiple properties across all of their registrations with different local authorities. There were 246,532 registered Landlords as at July 2020. The figure for landlords reflects some data cleansing and changes in the number of landlords on the system.

Whilst our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not hold some of the information you have requested. Section 17(1) of FOISA (information not held) requires the Scottish Government to notify you if it does not have some of the information you requested.
The Scottish Government does not hold the following information:

  • properties owned by limited companies trading more than 2 years,
  • number of rural landlords,
  • number of landlords who are pensioners etc.
  • a demographic break down of registered landlords

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested.

The purpose of the landlord Registration database is to assess the fit and proper status of a landlord in terms of letting of private properties, the data is not used by the Scottish Government for profiling of the private rented sector landlords. However, you may wish to contact the data controllers for the information held on the database, contact details for the 32 Local Authorities is available on the landlord registration website at

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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