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Bills and Laws

Housing (Scotland) Bill

The Bill makes changes in the law in relation to housing.

These changes cover protections for tenants, preventing homelessness, and other housing matters.  

The Bill is at Stage 1



The Bill has six main Parts.

Part 1 relates to the rent paid by tenants under private residential tenancies. It includes:

  • duties on local authorities to assess rent conditions in their area, at least once every 5 years
  • powers for Scottish Ministers to introduce rent control areas and place limits on rent increases
  • restrictions on rent increases at the start of a tenancy in rent control areas
  • limits on how often rent can increase during a tenancy both in and outside rent control areas.

Part 2 places duties on the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland and the courts. This includes considering delays to carrying out an eviction order for private and social housing tenants. It also changes how damages for unlawful eviction are calculated.

Part 3 introduces new rights:

  • for private and social housing tenants to request to keep a pet
  • for private housing tenants to make changes to the property they are renting.

Part 4 makes changes to other matters affecting tenants, including:

  • allowing unclaimed deposits to be paid to the Scottish Ministers or into another fund so that they can be used to provide support to private tenants across Scotland
  • allowing a single joint tenant to end a joint tenancy
  • giving Scottish Ministers the power to convert assured tenancies into private residential tenancies.

Part 5 of the Bill relates to homelessness prevention. Changes include:

  • making relevant bodies, such as health boards or the police, ask if an individual is homeless or at risk of homelessness, and making them take action if they are
  • making local authorities act sooner to prevent homelessness by taking reasonable steps
  • making social landlords put in place support for tenants if they are overdue on rent due to domestic abuse
  • making social landlords have a policy which sets out how they will support tenants who are at risk of homelessness due to domestic abuse.

Part 6 deals with other housing matters including:

  • changing the way mobile home pitch fees are calculated so increases follow the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rather than the Retail Prices Index (RPI)
  • changing the reporting and consultation requirements in the Fuel Poverty (Targets, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Act 2019 and removing some limits on the operating costs of the Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel
  • allowing the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (who investigates, reports on and helps settle complaints) to share information with the new homes ombudsman for the UK.

Why the Bill was created

The Scottish Government introduced the Bill to deliver its rented sector strategy, A New Deal for Tenants, and some policy ideas for housing as set out in Housing to 2040, while also seeking to deliver on an ambition to end homelessness.