Social housing in Scotland is housing owned and managed by public authorities (mainly councils) and housing associations (registered social landlords or RSLs).
We want to make sure that everyone in Scotland, no matter their financial situation, has access to good quality housing. So we support social landlords to provide affordable accommodation, allocated according to need.
- increasing the amount of council housing and protecting social housing for the future by ending the right to buy
- making sure that councils' and RSLs' housing stock meets the Scottish Housing Quality Standard
- supporting good practice in housing management by providing advice and guidance for social landlords
- ensuring that social landlords are monitored through the Scottish Housing Regulator
- promoting tenant participation by providing advice and guidance for tenants' organisations and social landlords
- reducing the negative impacts of the UK Government's housing benefit reform
- supporting affordable housing via the Building Scotland Fund
The Right to Buy was abolished for all social housing tenants in Scotland by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014. This will preserve housing stock for the future and means that social landlords will receive a steady rental income.
The Act changed allocation rules for social landlords to increase flexibility and allow them to make the best use of social housing. It also allows landlords to issue Short Scottish Secure Tenancies (Short SSTs) to address antisocial behaviour, and help homeowners in genunine housing need.
Bills and legislation
Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 protects tenants’ interests, supports improvements to housing quality and secures better outcomes for communities
Housing (Scotland) Act 2010 introduced the Scottish Housing Charter which sets 16 standards and outcomes that all social landlords should be meeting
Social housing provisions in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 changes some aspects of the law on social housing allocations and management. The new provisions will come into force in May and November 2019 and more detail on commencement can be found in the Commencement Order (The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 (Commencement No.8, Savings, Transitional and Supplemental Provisions) Order 2018)).
The Scottish Government has developed guidance to help landlords plan changes to their own policies and practice. The final guidance will be formally published later in 2018. Draft versions of the guidance are available below:
- The Legal Framework for Social Housing Allocations – Statutory Guidance
- The Short Scottish Secure Tenancy for Homeowners – Guidance for Social Landlords
- Guidance for Social Landlords on Assignation, Subletting, Joint Tenancies and Succession to a Scottish Secure Tenancy
- Streamlined Eviction Process – Criminal or Antisocial Behaviour - Statutory Guidance for Social Landlords
- Guidance for Social Landlords on Recovery of Possession of Properties Designed or Adapted for Special Needs
- Guidance for short SST for Antisocial Behaviour
- Minimum period for applications to remain in force
In addition, to help landlords undertake training on the changes being introduced by the 2014 Act, we have made PowerPoint presentations with speakers' notes available. These are flexible resources which landlords can adapt to reflect their own allocations and housing management policies. They do not constitute legal advice and users of the material should bear in mind the disclaimer at the start of the presentations. The slides and notes can be accessed by downloading the individual Powerpoint files.
Telephone: 0300 244 4000
Housing and Social Justice Directorate