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About the Bill

The Act will make changes to help the housing system operate more effectively and will also link to the housing and national performance outcomes.

The Act covers the following areas:

Right to Buy

The Act ends all right to buy entitlements.

For further information, please visit the Right to Buy web page.

Social Housing

Housing legislation tightly controls the management of social housing in Scotland.  This includes housing allocations, tenancies and limited powers for landlords to tackle antisocial behaviour. The provisions in the Act are intended to provide better outcomes for communities by:

  • Increasing the flexibility that landlords have when allocating houses;
  • Allowing landlords to make the best use of social housing;
  • Giving landlords more tools to tackle antisocial behaviour;
  • Providing further protection for tenants, particularly tenants with Short Scottish Secure Tenancies, by strengthening their rights in a number of ways; and
  • Clarifying existing legislation on how Short Scottish Secure Tenancies operate.

For further information, please visit the Social Housing Management web page.

Reform of the Private Rented Sector

The Scottish Government is committed to improving quality and delivering a private rented sector that delivers for tenants and landlords. The new PRS Housing Tribunal will provide more efficient, accessible and specialist access to justice for both tenants and landlords. Local Authorities will also be given new discretionary powers to make application to the Private Rented Housing Panel with regards to the Repairing Standard.

Related to this, improving new discretionary powers in relation to private sector housing will give local authorities more tools to use in tackling poor standards of owner occupied and privately rented housing.  Regulation of the letting agent industry will also include a new Letting Agents register and statutory code of practice, which will promote high standards of service and levels of professionalism, as well as provide landlords and tenants with easy access to a mechanism that will help to resolve disputes where these arise. There are also provisions to improve electrical safety in private rented housing and mandatory obligations for landlords to install carbon monoxide detectors.

For further information, please visit the Private Rented Sector web page.

Mobile Homes Sites with Permanent Residents

There are 92 mobile home sites across Scotland, with over 3000 mobile homes spread across 22 local authority areas.  An increasing number of people, many of whom are elderly, live permanently in mobile homes or park homes.  While many sites are well run, there is evidence that there are unscrupulous site owners who exploit vulnerable residents and fail to comply with their statutory obligations.  The existing powers that local authorities have provide insufficiently strong tools and penalties to deter and tackle such site owners.

The provisions in the Act therefore strengthen the site licensing system by creating a system that reflects modern practice.  The changes will give local authorities the tools needed to ensure mobile home sites meet acceptable standards, and that licences can be managed and revoked as required.  The proposed changes will apply to the licence system for mobile home sites with permanent residents, and will not apply to mobile home parks which are only used for holidays.

For further information, please visit the Mobile Homes web page.

 

Private Housing Conditions

The Act amends local authority powers to enforce repairs and maintenance in private homes.

 

Miscellaneous items

There are a number of miscellaneous items in the Act. These are as follows:

  • granting Ministers powers to exempt certain schemes, such as shared equity schemes, from the right to redeem a heritable security after 20 years in relation to private dwellings;
  • provides for the President of the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP) to delegate certain functions;
  • amending the Scottish Housing Regulator’s powers to transfer assets following inquiries;
  • provides for a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) to ballot tenants where they form a group structure with another RSL.
  • repeals provisions in the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 that designate pre-cast reinforced concrete houses as defective.