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Housing (Scotland) Bill

Written Evidence from Citizens Advice Scotland

The Housing (Scotland) Bill is proposed to make a number of changes to the law affecting both social and private rental housing. Based on the experiences of CAB clients, CAS submitted written evidence to the Scottish Parliament Committee examining the Bill.

Key Points from Citizens Advice Scotland's written evidence:

  • Citizens Advice Scotland agrees that the provisions will increase the flexibility that social landlords have in their allocations policies, which has the potential to benefit tenants. However we recommend proposals to allow an applicant’s age to be taken into account should be removed from the Bill.

  • CAS supports the proposals to make it easier for social landlords to change an SST to a short SST if a tenant’s anti-social behaviour causes a negative impact on their neighbours. However we recommend that social landlords conduct an assessment of a tenant’s support needs when a tenancy is changed.

  • CAS recommends that a simplified eviction process where a tenant has been convicted of a relevant crime by another court should only be used if the offence is serious, and has been proven to have a directly negative effect on their neighbours or local community.

  • Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomes the movement of private rented sector (PRS) housing cases from the civil court to the new first-tier tribunal 

  • CAS believes that social rented housing cases should also be dealt with by the first-tier tribunal

  • It is crucial to ensure readiness of the PRHP to absorb the business – in terms of recruitment and training of new tribunal members and also ensuring the availability of mediators

  • There should be a clear policy outlined for providing support to users in the form of advice and, where needed, representation 

  • CAS strongly supports Local Authorities being given the power to report to the PRHP regarding repairs

  • CAS would like to see the addition of mandatory electrical safety checks in private rented housing

  • CAS unconditionally supports the introduction of a letting agent register with a mandatory code of practice to be developed.

  • CAS is extremely supportive of the move to license permanent mobile homes sites in Scotland.

Rob Gowans, Fraser Sutherland, Lauren Wood
Publication date
March 2014
Publication type
Number of pages