MORE tenants are falling into arrears as rents in Scotland continue to rise. The number of tenancies falling into arrears of one day or more jumped by six per cent in a month while rental prices rose by 1.8 per cent in a year.

According to one nationwide letting agency, landlords in Scotland are now enjoying a 4.9 per cent yield on their properties – a much higher return than the majority of rental properties in England and Wales.

But at the same time, the number of tenants in arrears for one day or more rose from 12.3 per cent in May to 18.3 per cent in June, according to Your Move Scotland.

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The average Scottish rental property let for £569 a month in June, a rise of 1.4 per cent on the previous month.

This is also 1.8 per cent up compared with last June, when the average monthly rent stood at £559.

Scotland’s arrears rate for the month remained above the level found in England and Wales.

Across both nations the average rate of arrears was seven per cent in June.

In England and Wales landlords’ profits are not as high. In June the average yield across all of England and Wales was 4.4 per cent, much lower than the equivalent Scottish figure. Only landlords with properties located in the north-east and north-west of England enjoyed higher or equal returns compared to those in Scotland.

In June, the two English regions offered yields of 5.2 per cent and five per cent respectively.

The highest rents in Scotland are in Edinburgh and the Lothians, with the average hitting £661 per month, an increase of 3.5 per cent on last year’s figure of £639.

The only other area of Scotland to record rents above the £600 mark was the Highlands and Islands, where the average price was £602, 2.9 per cent higher than a year ago.

The downturn in the oil industry appears to be causing rents to stabilise in Aberdeen with the area currently the cheapest place to rent in the nation, according to Your Move. The average property there lets for £541 per calendar month.

In Edinburgh and the Lothians rents increased by 0.8 per cent – faster than anywhere else – while the south and the rest of the east of Scotland rises between May and June were at 0.4 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively.

Brian Moran, lettings director, of Your Move Scotland said landlords south of the Border would be “envious” of their Scottish counterparts as returns were “much stronger” than in most regions of England and Wales.

“While the political landscape has changed dramatically, the rental market continues its solid progress,” he said. “Rents across Scotland are now 1.8 per cent higher than a year ago, and have risen by 1.4 per cent in the last month alone.”

“Landlords are enjoying excellent returns on their investment, with the typical property returning 4.9 per cent to owners – a strong performance in today’s economic context.”