Housing Bill published

Preventing homelessness and strengthening tenants’ rights.

New legislation which aims to keep people in their homes and help prevent homelessness has been published.

The Housing (Scotland) Bill will introduce an ‘ask and act’ duty on social landlords and bodies, such as health boards and the police, to ask about a person’s housing situation and act to avoid them becoming homeless wherever possible.

It also reforms provision for people threatened with homelessness up to six months ahead and includes provisions for tenants experiencing domestic abuse.

The Bill will outline proposals for a New Deal for Tenants, a key part of the Bute House Agreement between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Green Party.

Proposals include long term rent controls for private tenancies, new rights to keep pets, decorate rented homes and stronger protection against eviction.  

Housing Minister Paul McLennan and Tenants’ Rights Minister Patrick Harvie will lead the Bill’s passage through Parliament.

Mr McLennan said:

“Scotland already has the strongest rights in the UK for people who become homeless – but nobody should have to experience the trauma and disruption of losing their home.

“Early action, through the kinds of measures included in the Housing Bill, results in fewer people reaching the point of housing crisis. It also means people facing homelessness have more choice and control over where they live, helping them to maintain relationships in their community and stay in work.”

Mr Harvie said:

“A fairer, well-regulated rented sector is good for both tenants and landlords. Tenants benefit from improved conditions and security, while good responsible landlords will thrive when their good practice is recognised by regulation.

“Scotland has led the way across the UK in improving the experience of people who rent their homes and this reform has been at the same time as significant growth in the size of the private rented sector.  So progressive reform can lead to better conditions and a healthy rented sector overall. I want to keep working with both tenants and landlords to achieve that goal.”


The Housing (Scotland) Bill was informed by three public consultations and will now by scrutinised by the Scottish Parliament.

Housing Bill Policy Memorandum


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