Private Sector Rent Statistics: FOI release

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

Information requested

On 5th November 2023, Minister for Housing Paul McLennan said this on the BBC Sunday Show:

“If you look at the evidence, for example, in rent controlled, looking at rents in England, they are up very similar. Manchester, London, Cardiff are all up very similar aspects as they are in Scotland.”

Please provide the evidence to which Paul McLennan was referring in the above remark. Additionally, please also provide any evidence held by the Scottish Government which demonstrates the opposite: ie that rents in Scotland have increased by less than in other parts of the UK since the temporary rent cap was introduced.


Zoopla rental analysis published in September 2023 (see Rental Market Report: September 2023 - Zoopla and The cheapest places to rent a home in 2023 - Zoopla) reported that rents for new tenancies in July 2023 had increased on an annual basis by 13.1% in Manchester, 12.4% in London and 10.7% in Cardiff, compared to 12.7% in Scotland.

The Zoopla analysis is based on newly advertised rental data and does not include trends in rents for existing tenancies, and does not therefore cover trends in rents for the whole private rented sector in Scotland.

More recent Zoopla rental analysis published in October 2023 (see Rents for new lets rise 10.3% over the last year - Zoopla), which includes country and regional rent increase figures but not the detail of any city level figures, reported that rents in Scotland increased by 12.8% in the year to September 2023. This compares to increases in England and Wales such as 10.1% in the West Midlands, 10.2% in Wales, 11.3% in the North West of England, and 11.5% in London.

The next set of annual Scottish Government Private Sector Rent Statistics for the year to end September 2023, based predominantly on advertised rents data and presenting average private sector rent levels in Scotland by Broad Rental Market Area and size of property, is planned to be published on 28 November 2023.

There is limited data and evidence available across the UK on rent levels being charged for existing tenancies. However, landlords in England have been able to continue increasing rents for existing tenancies during the period there have been rent caps in place in Scotland since the introduction of the Cost of Living (Tenants Protection) Scotland Act 2022. In Scotland, over this period, rent caps have limited annual increases for existing tenancies to 0% in the period 28 October 2022 to March 2023 and 3% in the period since 01 April 2023 (or 3% and 6% respectively if landlords applied for, and could evidence, Prescribed Property Costs). In England, landlords have been able to increase rents for existing tenancies in line with market trends.

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Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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