Tenant participation helps tenants and landlords to share information with each other to improve the standard of housing conditions and services.
Effective participation gives tenants an opportunity to influence decisions about the housing services they receive. And it gives landlords better links to the community and the opportunity to work with others.
The introduction of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 created a legal requirement for landlords to actively develop and support tenant participation.
All registered social landlords (RSLs) and local authorities in Scotland must have a tenant participation strategy which will enable 'continuous improvement in landlords' performance in supporting and enabling tenants to participate'.
Tenant scrutiny is an important part of meeting the expectation to continuously improve landlord participation performance. Tenant scrutiny involves adopting a tenant-centred approach to landlord activities, which delivers benefits to tenants, landlords and communities alike. A tenant scrutiny practice guide for landlords and tenants has been produced to help develop effective tenant scrutiny, and a tenant scrutiny training toolkit to understand the scrutiny activities linked to the Scottish Social Housing Charter and related regulatory framework.
How we help tenant organisations and landlords
We support registered tenant organisations (RTOs) to share good practice by:
- advising and supporting tenant and resident organisations to help them become more involved in the issues that affect their homes and communities
- working with RTOs to improve communication between the Scottish Government and RTO groups
- identifying and sharing examples of good practice in tenant participation
- providing a guide to successful tenant participation
Regional networks for tenant participation
We support RTOs through nine regional networks.
The network's purpose is to enable RTO representatives to communicate with us practically on national policy issues. This means that we can share the knowledge and expertise of the RTO members. This also means that RTOs are able to participate and respond to consultation documents in a more effective and uniform way.
The nine national regional networks have their own constitution, communications strategy, and election process. For more information, visit the regional network website.
The Tenant Participatory Advisory Service
The Tenant Participatory Advisory Service (TPAS) is the national tenant and landlord participation advisory service for Scotland.
It works with tenants and landlords to improve housing conditions and services at a local level. TPAS is a not-for-profit organisation.
The Tenants' Information Service
The Tenants Information Service (TIS) provides independent information, advice and training for tenants. Since 1989 it has been a major contributor to developing good tenant participation practice across Scotland.
It offers services to assist tenants and landlords to review and put their tenant participation strategies into practice.
A key part of its work is supporting tenants and landlords to review housing services and standards to improve service delivery.