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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-25244

  • Asked by: Pam Duncan-Glancy, MSP for Glasgow, Scottish Labour
  • Date lodged: 5 February 2024
  • Current status: Answered by Graeme Dey on 22 February 2024


To ask the Scottish Government when it plans to publish its response to the review of purpose-built student accommodation.


The Scottish Government received 11 recommendations formulated by the Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) Review Group. These are listed below and have been fully accepted by Ministers.

Work is now underway on taking forward the three recommendations that fall specifically to the Scottish Government. We will continue to engage with the sectors regarding delivery of those recommendations that are to be progressed jointly or elsewhere, reconvening the Review Group as part of that recommendation.


1. That the Scottish Government works with partners to develop a Model Terms and Conditions to apply across all PBSA, both institutionally and privately operated.

2. That the Scottish Government consults widely on the scope to legislate on PBSA regulation, specifically in respect of notice periods and cooling off period for PBSA tenants, including identifying what circumstances should apply in such cases and potential impact on investment and rent levels.

3. That Higher Education Institutions work with partners to develop and distribute information packs for student tenants in both institutional and private PBSA properties, outlining the existing routes for progressing complaints and redress, including through the SPSO and the First-Tier Tribunals system. These information packs should contain clear links to regularly updated relevant online content.

4. That the Scottish Government works with partners to scope the development of a Model Complaints Procedure to be adopted across all types of PBSA.

5. That the Scottish Government convenes a national round table discussion with HEIs, private PBSA providers, investors/developers, students, and local authorities, to explore improvements in relation to ensuring the housing needs of students are met.

6. That strategic partnerships be established at local level, involving all those involved in provision / use of student accommodation to consider / address supply issues at local level in the short, medium, and long-term.

7. That the Scottish Government works with partners to identify and address barriers to expanding the supply of affordable accommodation for students through e.g. the repurposing of existing buildings and the utilisation of alternative housing models e.g. housing co-operatives.

8. That the Scottish Government and Higher Education Institutions actively engage with property investors/developers in the private sector to encourage the development of a more diverse range of student accommodation properties, which could meet the needs of families and those on lower incomes.

9. That Higher Education Institutions and providers of private PBSA work more closely together to ensure students get the information they need, including consideration of data sharing agreements.

10. That Higher Education Institutions provide to all tenants residing in University or privately-run PBSA information on student support available through institutions, and how to access this. This should be available in formats other than online, and frontline staff working within all types of PBSA should have ready access to this information in order to provide advice when needed.

11. That the Scottish Government engages with Home Office on the provision of student dependents’ data for international students taking up places at Scottish universities.