Local Housing Strategy Guidance

Guidance for local authorities to assist in the preparation of Local Housing Strategies.

12. House Condition

Private Sector


12.1 The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, Section 10 introduced statutory requirements for local authorities to include in the LHS:

  • a Below Tolerable Standard ( BTS) strategy - for ensuring compliance with section 85(1) (duty to close, demolish or improve houses which do not meet the tolerable standard) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (c. 26)
  • a Housing Renewal Area Policy - for identifying parts of its area for designation under section 1 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (asp 1)
  • a strategy detailing a Scheme of Assistance - for improving the condition of houses by providing or arranging for the provision of assistance under Part 2 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (asp 1).

LHS Considerations

Set out how the local authority proposes to meet the above requirements for:

a) BTS Strategy - evidence of the extent of BTS housing (numbers, location and type); plans in place to collect evidence to inform and update a strategy; how BTS housing will be addressed and repair work enforced in the private sector.

b) Housing Renewal Area Policy - how will areas be identified and what action will be considered. (Although most local authorities have not yet made use of HRA powers, a policy should be in place and ready to support housing improvement when required).

c) Scheme of Assistance - how will the scheme be used to address substandard private housing and implement the BTS strategy.

Social Rented Sector

Scottish Housing Quality Standard


12.2 The Scottish Housing Quality Standard ( SHQS) requires all social landlords (local authority and Registered Social Landlords) to achieve a minimum level of housing quality (including energy efficiency) by April 2015. Amongst other things, the SHQS states that local authorities should install effective insulation and full, efficient central heating in their stock.

12.3 The SHQS target is included in the Scottish Social Housing Charter, and progress towards meeting this target is monitored by the independent Scottish Housing Regulator. SHQS is funded through social landlords' investment plans, including prudential borrowing by local authorities.

12.4 The SHQS is measured by the Scottish House Condition Survey at local authority level and this information is available at: www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/SHCS/Downloads.

LHS Considerations

a) Provide details on the extent to which the 2015 target has been achieved.

b) Set out proposals for dealing with and funding any non-exempt stock which has not achieved SHQS.

c) Set out proposals for reviewing exemptions and abeyance as requested in the current SHQS Guidance, as these are temporary measures which should be reviewed as technology develops and tenants or owners change.

Energy Efficiency Standard


12.5 The energy efficiency standard for social housing ( EESSH), published March 2014, sets out the minimum energy efficiency ratings that landlords will be expected to meet across their housing stock. The ratings will vary depending on the accommodation and fuel type used. A milestone has been set for 2020, with future milestones determined as part of a review of the standard, scheduled for 2017.

12.6 The EESSH does not prescribe measures, but leaves it to individual social landlords to identify the most cost effective measures for their stock, to ensure that the required ratings are achieved. Further information is available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/Housing/sustainable/standard

LHS Considerations

a) Detail the measures the local authority and its partners intend to take to achieve the required ratings.

b) Provide information that demonstrates how the measures will be funded.

c) Provide details of the progress being made towards the 2020 milestone.


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