NEW figures have revealed the “dire outlook” for Scottish tenants as demand for room rentals vastly outstrips supply.

Research by Admiral showed that Scotland has the worst ratio of renters to rentals in the UK, with 412 people looking for a room for every 100 rooms advertised.

Glasgow suffered more than any other place in Scotland for supply versus demand.

In Scotland, 53% of people cannot afford the average rental price of £512. In Edinburgh the percentage is 46%, in Glasgow it is 64% and in Aberdeen it is 66%.

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The three Scottish cities all placed within the top 10 worst affected areas for room rental budget affordability in the UK, with Bath placing first, closely followed by London.

The UK average percentage of people who cannot afford the average rental price was 52.7%, with the number the same for England.

The National:

Percentage of renters priced out of the average price of a rental

However, Scotland has a lower average rent than the UK, at £512 compared to £549.

Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow, also faced incredibly high demand, with 998 people looking to rent for every 100 available rentals.

In Edinburgh, 535 are looking to rent for every 100 available rentals.

Scottish tenant union Living Rent said the figures showed the need for the Scottish Government to bring its proposed rent controls forward.

Megan Bishop, secretary of Living Rent, told The National: “These figures show starkly the dire outlook for Scotland's tenants, and underline just how urgently renters across the country need action.

“If we are serious about a just recovery from Covid, then Scotland's housing needs to change.

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“While the Scottish Government have recognised that the current situation is unsustainable and have committed to introduce rent controls, which is very welcome, they are currently not intending to do so for four more years.

“What statistics like today's show, however, is that tenants simply cannot afford to wait that long. We need urgent action now.”

The Scottish Government have put proposals that would see a national system for rent control drawn up as well as restrictions on evicting tenants during winter to a consultation.

Scottish Greens Tenants' Rights Minister Patrick Harvie said a new deal for tenants is central to creating a fairer Scotland and tackling child poverty.

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Patrick Harvie wants to increase penalties for illegal evictions, give tenants greater flexibility and create a private sector regulator

The National previously revealed the scale of the struggle many Scots are struggling to find rooms to rent, and Admiral says this pressure of low supply mixed with high demand is upping the prices of rent across the country.

An Admiral spokesperson said: “In Scotland 53.3% of people’s budgets are too low to afford the average property (£512). This is because of a few factors.

“For a start, new developments are increasing in Scotland, as well as all over the UK. This impacts the housing market by making the average rent more expensive and exclusive than before. This, in turn, makes it less affordable for at least half of the population, as our results show.

“Glasgow is also rapidly becoming a very attractive option for young professionals, with property being planned and built-in strategic locations to best appeal to this demographic.”

The National:

Glasgow is becoming an increasingly popular area for young professionals to live

Since the pandemic, Admiral has noticed that renters have been more likely to move further from work as the daily commute becomes a thing of the past for many people working from home.

“Aberdeen is a good example,” experts at Admiral told The National. “The city was one of the most affordable to rent in Scotland, but in the last couple of years more and more people have considered it as an attractive place to move, and by consequence, prices in Aberdeen have seen quite an increase.

“This has also been spurred on by the rise of working from home. Commute times aren’t such a key factor in choosing where to live anymore and this has given people more choice in where they can work and live. In response, we’re moving out of traditional commuter cities, many of which still rank as some of the most expensive in the country, and in Europe.”

The impact of this, Admiral says, is that towns and cities which weren’t equipped for an influx of people – like Glasgow – are seeing this hit the available supply, driving rental prices up.

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A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are determined to improve accessibility, affordability and standards for rented homes and we published a draft New Deal for Tenants before Christmas.

"It will give people who rent more secure, stable, affordable tenancies with improved standards of accommodation, increased rights and controls on rent.

“These statistics are unofficial, but we recognise that some communities face pressures from loss of private rented properties to the short-term lets market. That is why we have given local authorities powers to designate control areas in order to manage high numbers of short-term lets, and laid licensing legislation at the Scottish Parliament in November to regulate short-term lets more effectively.

“The 2022-23 Budget also supports our commitment to deliver 110,000 affordable homes across Scotland by 2032, with at least 70% of these available for social rent.”