Is the private rented sector shrinking?

15 November 2023

Figures published by the Scottish Government under Freedom of information rules appear to show a reduction in the number of private rented properties of almost 100,000 in just three years.

As at March 2019 there were 436,990 properties registered as part of the landlord registration scheme. By March 2022 that figure had fallen to 338,768, a fall of 98,222 or 22.4%. However, this short term change is likely to be linked to some data related issues and double counting during the migration of the data base during 2019. Setting these rather dramatic figures aside, the new table does hint at an emerging decline in private renting. Whilst the sector remains significantly bigger than it was in 2012, it’s been on a modest downward trend since a peak in January 2017. A 6% fall over that period means the sector is smaller now than its been since March 2015.

Full details of the FOI including figures relating to the operation of the three deposit protection schemes can be found here.