Indigo House (Rent Better)

Funding at a glance

Programme: Transforming the Private Rented Sector
Amount: £366,293 grant
Approved: 2019
Timescale: Three years
Status: Funding in progress

Understanding the impact on tenants and landlords of recent changes in the Scottish private rented sector.


Why we are funding this project

The learning from this research will help to shape further changes in the Scottish private rented sector and will also make the case for modernisation of the private rented sector in other parts of the UK.

Strategic purpose

To provide robust evidence that can be used to inform policy and practice of the solutions to address the issues of cost, quality, security and access in the private rented sector.

Project description

In 2019, the Nationwide Foundation commissioned a three-year study to learn from the experiences of households living in and landlords operating in the private rented sector in Scotland.

Indigo House Group, a housing and social inclusion consultancy, is currently in the midst of quantitative and qualitative research. This looks at whether changes to the tenancy regime in Scotland are creating security of tenure, protecting against excessive rent increases and empowering tenants. It also gathers the perspectives of landlords, local authorities and advice agencies on how the new regulations are working.

Two reforms enacted in recent years represent significant change in the Scottish private rented sector:

  • Private Residential Tenancy: The Private Residential Tenancy introduced in 2017 means that there are no fixed terms to tenancies, landlords cannot use no-fault evictions and rents can only increase once per year.
  • First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (housing and property chamber): The tribunal’s remit has increased to deal with more disputes in the sector, such as tenancy terms, evictions and lettings agents.

Robustly reviewing these changes provides a huge opportunity to get to the heart of security of tenure, affordability and consumer power in the private rented sector.

In February 2020, Indigo House launched ‘Rent Better’, an online hub for its research into the private rented sector in Scotland.

In November 2020, Indigo House launched a full set of baseline findings from its work looking at changes to the Scottish private rented sector. The findings, informed by a survey of renters, landlords and letting agents, found that where a positive tenant/landlord relationship exists, people feel secure in their homes. This said, where deprivation or a lack of financial power is an issue, renters still feel a sense of precarity.

The Nationwide Foundation believes that the evidence from the experience in Scotland should be used to make further improvements to the Scottish private rented sector, as well as providing essential insight to inform policymaking in other areas of the UK.

Rent Better 

Indigo House

Back to funding 2016–present