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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.


We are:


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 Scottish Government has developed guidance which will be formally published in 2018 after the Commencement Order for the provisions has been passed by the Scottish Parliament. We expect to lay the SSIs required for this in spring 2018.

To help landlords plan changes to their own policies and practice, final draft versions of the guidance are available:

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

Post: Scottish Government
Housing and Social Justice Directorate
Victoria Quay