Social tenants in Scotland 2016

Overview of social tenants and social rented housing in Scotland for 2016, covering information on stock, households, housing flows, rents and income.

This document is part of a collection

Section 6: Annex A: Further Information on sources of data that have been used

The Scottish Household Survey ( SHS)

The Scottish Household Survey is a continuous household survey that has been carried out by the Scottish Government since 1999, based on a sample of the general population in private residences in Scotland, and allows for analysis of the composition, characteristics and behaviour of Scottish households.

The survey involves two interviews with householders. One interview is with the Highest Income Householder, or his/her partner/spouse, who is interviewed face-to-face about themselves and other members of the household. In addition, a randomly selected adult member of the same household aged 16 or over (who may, by chance, be the same person) is interviewed on other topics. In this way, results from the survey are representative of both Scottish households and adult individuals.

Sample sizes for each year and tenure, at a national level are shown in Table 6.1 below. As it is a survey it is sometimes necessary to combine together multiple years of data in order to get reliable results.

Table 6.1: Samples sizes for Scottish Household Survey by tenure and year

Local Authority Housing Association Social Sector Private rented Buying with help of loan/mortgage Owned outright
1999 3,830 680 4,510 750 5,620 3,530
2000 3,840 790 4,630 850 5,810 3,960
2001 3,550 830 4,380 920 5,950 4,030
2002 3,310 810 4,120 890 5,690 4,110
2003 3,000 930 3,930 890 5,580 4,200
2004 3,040 1,180 4,220 1,040 5,740 4,620
2005 2,690 1,070 3,760 1,130 5,650 4,530
2006 2,670 1,170 3,840 1,150 5,570 4,740
2007 2,110 980 3,090 1,070 4,630 4,360
2008 2,040 1,160 3,200 1,110 4,760 4,510
2009 1,950 1,160 3,110 1,330 5,000 4,530
2010 1,940 1,220 3,150 1,420 4,800 4,620
2011 2,060 1,230 3,290 1,460 4,670 4,710
2012 1,410 1,000 2,410 1,250 3,270 3,560
2013 1,420 1,020 2,440 1,270 3,260 3,480
2014 1,460 1,110 2,570 1,300 3,070 3,530
2015 1,360 1,000 2,350 1,330 2,960 3,550
2016 1,360 1,020 2,380 1,390 2,920 3,650

Key links:

Housing information is presented annually in the Housing Chapter of the Annual Report, the most recent being “Scotland’s People Annual Report: Results from the 2016 Scottish Household Survey”, published in September 2017, available here:

Further details about including headline reports, methodology and information about the design of the SHS is available here:

The Family Resources Survey ( FRS)

The Family Resources Survey is a household survey managed by the Department for Work and Pensions ( DWP) that collects information about the living conditions and incomes of people in the UK. It is a face-to-face survey interviewing approximately 4,500 households in Scotland and 26,000 households across the UK as a whole.

The FRS aims to collect detailed information about respondents' incomes from employment and other sources. The Households Below Average Income dataset ( HBAI) is derived from the FRS and is the source of UK and Scottish Government official income and poverty estimates. Statistics in this report that have been sourced from the Family Resources Survey have used the HBAI dataset.

Household responses have been weighted and grossed up to be representative of all households in Scotland. In this publication, unequivalised income has been used, however results may differ from other statistics that have used equivalised income measurements.

Sample sizes for each year, tenure and country are shown in Table 6.2 below. As with the Scottish Household Survey, it is sometimes necessary to combine together multiple years of data in order to achieve large enough sample sizes for statistically reliable results.

Table 6.2: Samples sizes for Family Resources Survey by tenure and year

2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
Scotland Local Authority 710 670 620 590 560 460 470 440 410 380
Housing Association 450 430 430 380 400 350 290 260 270 280
Social Sector 1,160 1,100 1,050 970 970 810 760 710 680 660
Private Rented 330 380 380 450 480 400 390 410 410 370
Owned with mortgage 1,500 1,460 1,400 1,310 1,280 970 920 830 790 660
Owned outright 1,140 1,300 1,270 1,310 1,370 1,060 980 1,020 960 990
England LA 1,970 1,890 1,840 1,750 1,620 1,420 1,280 1,240 1,180 1,170
HA 1,590 1,590 1,700 1,650 1,590 1,310 1,440 1,330 1,320 1,380
Social Sector 3,570 3,490 3,530 3,400 3,210 2,720 2,720 2,570 2,500 2,550
PRS 2,010 2,090 2,230 2,570 2,650 2,210 2,100 2,250 2,330 2,410
Owned with mortgage 6,590 6,000 5,890 5,680 5,700 4,630 4,400 4,300 4,050 3,890
Owned outright 6,120 5,930 5,970 6,050 6,390 4,910 4,960 5,030 4,940 4,800
Wales LA 150 140 140 110 140 90 110 80 70 80
HA 70 70 70 90 90 70 50 70 60 90
Social Sector 220 210 210 200 230 160 170 150 130 160
PRS 90 110 120 140 140 120 120 130 120 110
Owned with mortgage 410 320 350 360 350 260 230 250 220 210
Owned outright 450 420 450 430 450 360 340 350 350 360

Significance testing has been carried out on Family Resources Survey based percentages in this publication; these are a standard statistical method for estimating the degree of uncertainty around sample-based percentages. However, Family Resources Survey is a complex survey, and a recommended approach for significance testing may involve bootstrapping. For the purposes of this publication, a pragmatic approach has been used to estimate the margin of error of survey results, which has been based on a standard 95% confidence interval with a design factor of 1.3.

Key links:

For more information about the FRS and accessing the FRS datasets please see the DWP website (

For more information about the HBAI and accessing the HBAI dataset please see the DWP website (

Information from Department for Work and Pensions about the Family Resources Survey data collection (

Scottish Housing Regulator ( SHR) Data

The Scottish Housing Regulator collects a range of financial and performance information about each social landlord in Scotland, including Charter Indicators that help show how local authority and housing association landlords are performing against the standards and outcomes of the Scottish Social Housing Charter.

Charter data is provided at an aggregate level from each landlord, rather than for individual households, which means that it is generally not possible to combine together separate indicators to perform more detailed analysis. However, the dataset is based on management information about all social housing in Scotland, rather than sample surveys such as the SHS and the FRS.

Key links:

Statistical information (including Charter datasets):

2016/17 National report:

Scottish Government Housing Statistics for Scotland

The Scottish Government collects annual information from local authorities in Scotland on various aspects of social housing and housing management such as stock and house sales, evictions, housing lists, lettings, vacant stock, local authority housing for older people and people with disabilities, right to buy entitlement, and housing in multiple occupation ( HMO).

The information is collected through aggregate forms, from all 32 local authorities, and housing associations where appropriate. The forms are issued on an annual basis, and are quality assured and published by Scottish Government statisticians.

Key links:

“Housing Statistics for Scotland 2016 – Key Trends summary” contains the key findings:

Detailed supporting tables with local authority breakdowns available here:

Scottish Government House Condition Survey

The Scottish House Condition Survey is based on a national survey of the housing stock, the only one of its kind in Scotland, which is part of the Scottish Household Survey ( SHS). Until 2012 it was carried out as a stand-alone survey under the name Scottish House Condition Survey ( SHCS). Following the review of the large-scale Scottish population surveys, the SHCS was incorporated within the SHS and became one of its modules. We continue to report the results from this module of the SHS under the name Scottish House Condition Survey.

The SHCS consists of an interview with householders and a physical inspection of the dwelling they occupy to provide a picture of Scotland's occupied housing stock. It covers all types of households and dwellings across the country - whether owned or rented, flats or houses. The physical data about the dwelling is recorded by surveyors trained to collect detailed information on housing characteristics. This is combined with information about the household collected through a face to face interview with the householder. The interview covers a range of topics such as household characteristics, tenure, neighbourhood satisfaction, dwelling satisfaction, health status, income, etc. The result is a powerful data set for examining the condition and characteristics of the dwellings alongside the views and experience of the people living in those dwellings.

Sample sizes for each year, tenure and country are shown in Table 6.3 below. As with the Scottish Household Survey, it is sometimes necessary to combine together multiple years of data in order to achieve large enough sample sizes for statistically reliable results. Household responses have been weighted and grossed up to be representative of all households in Scotland.

Table 6.3: Samples sizes for Scottish House Condition Survey by tenure and year

Local Authority Housing Association Social Sector Private rented Buying with help of loan/mortgage Owned outright
2012 420 280 700 290 850 900
2013 390 280 660 300 850 880
2014 380 280 660 290 790 900
2015 380 280 650 330 810 930
2016 420 300 710 350 800 990
5-year grouped sample 1,990 1,420 3,380 1,560 4,100 4,600

Key links:

Scottish House Condition Survey 2016 key findings:

Scottish House Condition Survey details including information methodology, sampling and household questionnaire:

Scottish Government Housing and Regeneration Outcome Indicators Framework

The Scottish Government’s Housing and Generation Outcome indicators are used to gauge progress on housing and regeneration outcome areas. There are 30 indicators which cover four key outcome areas; these are are a well-functioning housing system, high quality, sustainable homes; Homes that meet people’s needs and sustainable communities. The indicators draw on existing data sources (already in the public domain) to provide a high-level indication of success on each of the four outcomes. While these indicators do not capture the full picture, they provide an indication of direction of travel, thereby potentially highlighting areas for further investigation.

Key links:

A full list of indicators, current results and indications of directions of travel can be seen here:

Scottish Government ‘Private Sector Rent Statistics Scotland 2010 to 2017

The Private Sector Rent statistics publication presents information on private sector rent levels in Scotland over the years 2010 to 2016 (years to end-September) using data from the Rent Service Scotland market evidence database. It presents information on rent levels for different property sizes across each of the 18 broad rental market areas in Scotland. It contains information on average rents as well as rents at the higher and lower end of the market.

The publication uses data from the Rent Service Scotland 'Market Evidence Database'. This database is used to meet the needs of determining annual Local Housing Allowance levels and Local Reference Rent, and is data that has previously been published in the form of 30th percentile rental prices.

The market evidence data on private rents is sourced through a variety of means, including private landlord and letting agent returns, mailshot initiatives, and advertised rental information.

The rental information contained in the market evidence database is largely based on advertised rents, therefore it is important to note that the statistics presented in this publication do not represent rent increases for existing tenants.

The database excludes any rents related to social housing, mid-market rents, halls of residence, and private tenancies known to be the subject of housing benefit and regulated tenancies. The data collected includes a minimum level of address, property attributes and tenancy details. Rents relating to studio/bedsit properties, properties with 5 or more bedrooms, and bed and breakfast lodgings have been excluded from this publication due to small sample sizes. Rents for bedrooms in shared properties are presented as 'rent only' figures, i.e. do not include the additional cost of shared services where these are known.

If a particular property has more than one piece of market evidence available in a given year, then only the most recent item of evidence for that year has been used in the average rent calculations for this publication.

Rent Officers aim to capture a representative sample of around 10% of private rents based on the total number of records obtained (the amount of records used in average rent calculations may be slightly less than this due to removal of any multiple records for a single property/address in a given year). Landlord registration data and census data is used as a baseline for establishing and monitoring the total sample proportion that is aimed to be achieved. The sample sizes for each year and property size at a national level are shown in Table 6.4 below.

Table 6.4: Sample Sizes for Private Sector Rent statistics by Broad Rental Market Area and size of property, 2016 (year to end Sept)

1 bedroom shared 1 bedroom 2 bedrooms 3 bedrooms 4 bedrooms
2010 1,235 5,411 10,615 4,778 2,049
2011 1,650 5,471 10,841 5,268 2,243
2012 1,926 5,846 11,298 5,337 2,357
2013 2,025 5,112 11,005 4,863 1,951
2014 1,938 5,197 11,206 5,007 1,799
2015 2,178 5,682 12,042 5,079 1,777
2016 1,931 6,299 12,578 4,907 1,607
2017 2,381 6,868 12,817 4,942 1,561

Key links:

Private Sector Rent statistics, Scotland, 2010 to 2016 publication:

Further details about the data source and methodology are available here:

Discretionary Housing Payments in Scotland Statistics publications

Information on Discretionary Housing Payments ( DHPs) is published by the Scottish Government. The information is currently published on a 6-monthly basis.

The publication includes information on funding, distribution and total awards over 6 month periods. The dataset underlying the statistics is sourced from asking the 32 Scottish Local Authorities questions about the number applications for DHPs, number of determinations, number of awards, and total value of awards. The information is quality assured and published by Scottish Government statisticians.

Key links:

Discretionary Housing Payments in Scotland statistics publications and reference tables:

Guidance on monitoring Discretionary Housing Payments:

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government English Housing Survey 2015

The English Housing Survey is a continuous national survey commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government ( MHCLG). It collects information about people’s housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England.

The English Housing Survey covers all housing tenures and provides valuable information and evidence to inform the development and monitoring of MHCLG’s housing policies. Results from it are also used by a wide range of other users in the public and private sectors.

The survey has 2 main components. Each year, around 13,300 households take part in the face-to-face interview survey. About 6,000 of the participating households also take part in the physical survey.

The physical surveys are carried out by a qualified surveyor and involve a visual inspection of the property. During a physical survey, the surveyor carries out an internal and external assessment of the property. Physical surveys are also carried out on about 200 vacant properties.

Key links

English housing survey 2015 to 2016: Social rented sector report:

Information and publication on the English Housing Survey:

A guide for survey users is available here:

Homes & Communities Agency - Private Registered Provider Social Housing Stock In England 2016-2017

The Department for Communities and Local Government publishes an annual survey of English private registered providers of social housing ( PRPs) that collects comprehensive data on the ownership and location of social housing stock. The statistics include numbers of units provided by PRPs, affordable rent stock, and average rents.

These data are collected by the Homes and Communities Agency ( HCA) to support regulation of the economic standards. Information on stock ownership, location, development and transfers is used to help ensure a risk based and proportionate approach to regulation and to inform work on risk analysis and sector research.

Key links:

Private Registered Provider Social Housing Stock In England 2016-2017 statistics publication:

StatWales - Average weekly rents in self-contained stock at social rent by provider type and year

The Welsh Government publish information on the level and type of stock held by local authorities and registered social landlords as well as information on the average weekly rents for self-contained dwellings.

The information is collected via annual returns from Welsh social landlords on stock held by local authorities and registered social landlords ( RSLs) as at 31 March each year and the associated average rents charged set on the same date for the following year.

Key links:

StatsWales Social housing stock and rents:


The Department for Work and Pensions publishes statistics through customisable tables on the Stat-Xplore website. Information on benefit claimants including Housing Benefit and Universal Credit are available through a statistics tabulation tool.

Key links:

Scottish Survey Core Questions

Core questions are those that are included across a number of Scottish Government surveys, as a result of harmonised question design across three major Scottish Government surveys. The Core questions cover a range of topics, and the pooled sample allows for the production of reliable results.

More information is available here:


Back to top