Social housing

Housing management

Housing management includes:

  • allocating housing to new and existing tenants
  • providing appropriate tenancy agreements and managing them
  • organising repairs
  • providing housing support, information and advice
  • dealing with problems between neighbours

Allocations: ensuring fairness

By law, social landlords must follow certain rules when allocating houses to ensure fairness. These rules mean that anyone aged 16 or over has the right to be admitted to a housing list. They also set out the factors social landlords must (and must not) take into account when allocating their housing.

Admission to a housing list does not mean that applicants have a right to be made an offer of housing.

Social landlords in Scotland are responsible for developing their own allocations policies and making decisions within these rules.

For more information see:

Further details of the rules are set out in the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, as amended by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.

Tenant rights

Scottish Secure Tenancy (SST)

In most cases tenants of local authorities and housing associations will have a Scottish Secure Tenancy (SST). The SST provides a number of statutory rights including:

  • security of tenure
  • right to apply for a joint tenancy
  • rights of succession
  • ability to assign your tenancy, exchange or sublet your house
  • right to repair
  • rights to compensation for improvements
  • rights to information and consultation

Short Scottish Secure Tenancy (Short SST)

Some tenants will have a short Scottish Secure Tenancy agreement, which can be given in limited circumstances.

Tenants with a short SST have the same rights as under the Scottish Secure Tenancy except that:

  • there is no right to buy
  • there is no provision for succession
  • security of tenure is limited
  • rights to assign, sublet etc. are limited to the period of the short SST

Model Tenancy Agreements

We have developed model tenancy agreements for the:

Protecting tenants from eviction for rent arrears

Eviction of social housing tenants for rent arrears should be a last resort.

Measures were introduced at sections 153 and 155 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010 to strengthen protection for tenants in the social rented sector facing eviction for rent arrears. These measures are changes to repossession orders and pre-action requirements.

Landlords have had to meet these new rules on repossession orders and pre-action requirements since 2012. We have published statutory guidance for landlords on changes to repossession orders and pre-action requirements.

Guide to supporting refugees and asylum seekers

A guide for housing staff on supporting refugees and asylum seekers has been produced by the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland (CIH). It:

  • sets out the issues affecting migrants looking for a home
  • provides information about what housing officers should discuss with applicants
  • covers the issues to consider before allocating a property

Problem neighbours: antisocial behaviour

Antisocial behaviour can mean different things to different people. The Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004 defines it as:

  • acting in a manner that causes or is likely to cause alarm or distress
  • pursuing a course of conduct that causes or is likely to cause alarm or distress to at least one person not of the same household as the perpetrator

A Guide to the 2004 Antisocial Behaviour Act gives an overview of the contents of the Act, and how it can be used to resolve antisocial behaviour.

If you are affected by antisocial behaviour go to for more information.

Housing for high risk groups

People who have committed crimes, or have a history of antisocial behaviour, sometimes apply for social housing. Social landlords sometimes need to consider these applicants, or tenants, in a different way to ensure any risk they pose to the community is minimised.

Landlords work closely with other agencies such as the police to understand and minimise any risks. One high-risk group is sex offenders, and the National Accommodation Strategy for Sex Offenders has been developed to improve the way agencies tackle the difficult issues around housing sex offenders in communities.

They do this through putting systems in place, which are consistently applied to support co-operation between agencies and ensure everyone involved is clear about their roles and responsibilities.

The NASSO provides a national framework for the accommodation of sex offenders in the community aimed at improving public safety and reducing re-offending.

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