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Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Statistics: Scottish Local Authority Housing Income and Expenditure 1997-98 to 2020-21 (actuals) 2021-22 (estimates)

This annual publication presents statistics on Local Authority housing income and expenditure 2020-21 (actuals) and 2021-22 (estimates) including the balance at the end of the year, stock, rents, management and maintenance, empty properties, rent arrears, capital expenditure and borrowing.


Rents lost due to empty properties (void losses) (charts 8 & 9) (tables 14 & 15)

29. Councils lost £27m due to un-let all types of properties held on their HRAs in 2020-21 representing 2.1% of total rent income from all properties. From 2008-09 the statistics collected from Local Authorities have separately identified rents lost from un-let dwellings. For Scotland as a whole rents lost due to un-let dwellings amounted to £22m in 2020-21 representing 1.8% of total rent income on these dwellings.

30. The percentage of rent on dwellings lost through voids in 2020-21 was highest in Angus and (4.6%) and lowest in North Ayrshire (0.5%). Levels of rent lost may be strongly influenced by factors such as different levels of demand for properties, different void management practices and targets, decanting for improvement or investment programmes or the inclusion of properties awaiting demolition. As set out in paragraph 11 a number of councils cited COVID-19 as an influence of the level of void properties in 2020-21.

Chart 8: Rents lost through un-let properties as % of standard rental income 1 , Scotland, 1997-98 to 2021-22 (estimates) 1,2,3
Line chart showing rents lost on all properties through voids as a percentage of standard rental income, in Scotland, from 1997-98 to 2021-22. Trends in current and constant prices shown.

Source:

Current prices: Scottish Government, Communities Analytical Division - based on Housing Revenue Account return provided by Scottish Local Authorities. Constant prices: ONS Consumer Price All Items Index on which 2015 = 100.

Notes:

1. Six councils transferred their housing stock to the housing association sector, therefore HRA information is not available for them.

2. Vertical lines indicate breaks in comparability following transfer of housing stock as follows:
From 2003-04 transfer of housing stock from Glasgow City, Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders,
From 2006-07 transfer of housing stock from Argyll and Bute and Na h-Eileanan Siar,
From 2007-08 transfer of housing stock from Inverclyde.

3. Figures from 2019-20 may have been impacted on by the COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions. Consideration should be given to the impact of these restrictions when making any comparisons with other years.

Chart 9: Rents lost as a result of unlet dwellings as a percentage of gross rental income 1 , Scotland, 2020 21 (actual) and 2021 22 (estimate) 2
Line chart showing rents lost on dwellings through voids as a percentage of standard rental income, by local authority, in 2019-20 and 2021-22.

Source:

Scottish Government, Communities Analytical Services Division - based on Housing Revenue Account return provided by Local Authorities.

Notes:

1. Six councils transferred their housing stock to the housing association sector, therefore HRA information is not available for them.

2. Figures may have been impacted on by the COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions. Consideration should be given to the impact of these restrictions when making any comparisons with other years and between local authorities.

Rent arrears and the rents written-off (charts 10 & 11) (tables 16a, 16c2 17a, 217c, 19a, 19b and 20)

31. Total rent arrears on all properties on HRAs at 31 March 2021 was £89m, a rise of £10.2m (12.9%) since 31 March 2020. Nationally, rent arrears at 31 March 2021 represent 7.1% of Standard Rental Income on all properties on the HRA compared with 6.5% as at 31 March 2019 and is the highest value recorded over the past decade. As set out at paragraph 11 above a number of councils reported that COVID-19 had impacted on the level of rent arrears in 2020-21.

32. From 2008-09 the statistics collected from Local Authorities have separately identified rent arrears on dwellings from rent arrears in other properties held on councils' HRAs.

33. As at March 2021, rent arrears on council dwellings was £88m, up £10.5m (13.6%) on last year, representing 7.1% of Standard Rental Income from these dwellings. Rent arrears on dwellings varied from 14% of Standard Rental Income from dwellings in Orkney to 1.3% in East Renfrewshire.

34. As at 31 March 2021 there were 103,501 council tenants in arrears, an increase of 589 tenants (a 0.6% increase) compared to 31 March 2020. The number of former tenants in arrears decreased by 336 (a 1.1% decrease) from 28,700 at March 2020 to 28,364 as at 31 March 2021[6].

35. In 2020-21 budgets, councils wrote-off £9.6m of outstanding rent as unrecoverable (this represents 0.8% of Standard Rental Income) compared to £11.7m in the previous year. Write-offs for 2020-21 varied from none in East Dunbartonshire and Dundee City to £1.5m in Fife. Amounts of arrears written-off by councils can be influenced by councils' accounting policies and judgements on whether arrears are recoverable.

Chart 10: Rent arrears as percentage of total rental income on all properties on the Housing Revenue Account, 1 Scotland, 1997-98 to 2020-21 2,3
Line chart showing trends in rent arrears as a percentage of total rental income, all properties and dwelling, in Scotland, from 1997-98 to 2020-21.

Source:

Current prices: Scottish Government, Communities Analytical Division - based on Housing Revenue Account return provided by Scottish Local Authorities. Constant prices: ONS Consumer Price All Items Index on which 2015 = 100.

Notes:

1. Six councils transferred their housing stock to the housing association sector, therefore HRA information is not available for them.

2. Vertical lines indicate breaks in comparability following transfer of housing stock as follows:

From 2003-04 transfer of housing stock from Glasgow City, Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders,
From 2006-07 transfer of housing stock from Argyll and Bute and Na h-Eileanan Siar,
From 2007-08 transfer of housing stock from Inverclyde.

3. Figures from 2019-20 may have been impacted on by the COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions. Consideration should be given to the impact of these restrictions when making any comparisons with other years.

Chart 11: Rent arrears at 31 March as a percentage of annual standard rental income on houses 1 , by Local Authority, March 2020 to March 2021 2
Bar chart showing rent arrears as a percentage of total rental income, for dwellings, by local authority, 2018-19 and 2020-21.

Source:

Scottish Government, Communities Analytical Services Division - based on Housing Revenue Account return provided by Local Authorities.

Notes:

1. Six councils transferred their housing stock to the housing association sector, therefore HRA information is not available for them.

2. Figures may have been impacted on by the COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions. Consideration should be given to the impact of these restrictions when making any comparisons with other years or between local authorities.

Contact

Email: chma@gov.scot

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