Social housing


The emergency measures currently in place through Part 1 of the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act will no longer apply from 1 April 2024. You can find out more about the changes to rent and evictions.

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 genuine 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 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)).

In addition, regulations amend certain statutory notice forms for Scottish secure and short Scottish secure tenancies from 1 May 2019. These are:

Revised Model Scottish Secure and Short Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreements have been prepared for tenancies created on or after 1 May 2019. These are:

The Scottish Government has developed guidance to help landlords use the social housing provisions in the 2014 Act. The following guidance has now been formally published:

To help landlords undertake training on the changes being introduced by the 2014 Act, we have made PowerPoint presentations with speakers' notes available. 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.




Telephone: 0300 244 4000

Post: Scottish Government
Housing and Social Justice Directorate
Victoria Quay

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