UBDC works with Renfrewshire Council to find insights on private rented housing
The past 10 years have shown major shifts in UK housing: fewer people own their property, while private renting is on the rise. However, there is limited information available on the private rented sector in particular, making it difficult for cities and government to plan for the future. For this reason, the UBDC has linked with Renfrewshire Council to begin early investigations into the potential for using landlord registration data to understand and shape policy around the private rented sector.
The relationship between registrations and the actual number of households in the private rented sector is not a precise one, and we address these complexities in our analysis. However, our initial investigation indicates that landlord registration data may be a very useful way of tracking the development of private renting within an authority.
You can read our initial thoughts in this Data Note (PDF), in which we reviewed private landlord registrations received in anonymized form by Renfrewshire Council for a single point in time. Listed below are some key takeaways from our analysis.
The vast majority of landlords (79%) own only one property while a further 11% own two properties.
Just nine landlords own 30 or more properties but between them, this accounts for 6% of registrations.
Looking at the landlord registration data for 2016, there are two Datazones where registered properties make up over 60% of the total, both surrounding the University of West of Scotland.
The highest rates of private renting by both measures are in and around Paisley and along the river Clyde in Renfrew town.
The lowest levels of private renting are in areas surrounding Paisley, Renfrew and in smaller towns and villages, such as Langbank, Inchinnan, Bishopton, Houston, Johnstone and Bridge of Weir.
Our current review only begins to scrape the surface of potential insights. A more detailed analysis, and in particular, an opportunity to compare landlord registration data with other sources such as household survey data, will provide us a better indication of how reliable it is to study the private rented sector. We look forward to continuing our work with Renfrewshire Council, and hope to expand this study to cover more authorities in the future.