Why do we need a Charter?

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2010 includes powers to modernise the regulation of social housing.  It created an independent Scottish Housing Regulator to look after the interests of tenants, homeless people and others who use the services that social landlords provide.

The Act also asked Ministers to consult on and then set the outcomes that social landlords should achieve.   The Scottish Social Housing Charter is the document that contains these outcomes.

The Regulator will use the Charter as the starting point for assessing a landlord's performance. It will publish performance reports, and will be able to set performance improvement targets.

What is an outcome?

An outcome is simply a result.

The Charter is a list of outcomes, or results, that landlords should achieve.

The Charter does not tell a landlord what to do or how often to do it.  For example statements like "a landlord will carry out estate inspections once a month" and "a landlord will remove graffiti within 7 days" are not outcomes; they are actions.  However, the outcome of these actions might be "Communal areas are well maintained".

How did the Charter develop?

The Charter began with a blank sheet of paper.  We genuinely wanted your views before we started work on it.  When we asked you to think about what should be included, we wanted you to remember three points:

The outcomes in the Charter have to be things that tenants, homeless people and other service users want - so we asked you to think about all the things that make up a good housing service.  What are the results you want to see?

It has to be the landlord's responsibility to deliver the results you want to see - so we asked you to think about whether your landlord is responsible for achieving the results you want to see?

The Regulator has got to be able to monitor, assess and report on performance against the Charter - so we asked you to think about whether the Regulator would be able to assess whether a landlord was achieving the result you want to see.

How did we consult?

We decided not to ask individual groups what they thought should be in the Charter.  Instead we brought together tenants, landlords and others, at roadshow events throughout Scotland, and on this website, to let them comment, discuss and hopefully better understand each other's point of view.

In February 2011 we published a discussion paper, which included some suggested outcomes.  We then prepared a draft Charter which we put out to consultation in August 2011.

When did the Charter come into effect?

The first Charter came into effect in April 2012.

This is the timetable for the first Charter:


Autumn 2010

We held initial stakeholder discussions across the country.


February 2011

We published the Charter discussion paper, that reflected what you said to us at these events and on this website, and set out our intended approach.


Spring 2011

Discussion groups met to consider the proposals in the paper.


Summer 2011

We published the first draft Charter for formal consultation.


March 2012

We will submit a revised version of the Charter to the Scottish Parliament for approval.


1 April 2012

Following Parliamentary approval, the first Charter  came into effect.


How you helped develop the Charter

The Scottish Government carried out research in 2009 that identified some of the issues that are important to tenants.  These include good quality accommodation, a good day to day repairs service, safety and security.

We listened to what you told us at the roadshow events, on our website, in your responses to the discussion paper and the consultation, and we identified all the important areas the Charter should cover.  We've set out a series of outcomes covering a range of topics:

The customer/landlord relationship

Housing quality and maintenance

Neighbourhood and Community

Access to housing and support

Getting good value from rents and service charges

Other customers

How you contributed your views

The deadline for responding to the consultation paper was 1 November 2011.  We analysed your responses, and published a report. We took your views into account when we prepared the revised version of the Charter that the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee of the Scottish Parliament  considered in two sessions, on 25 January and 8 February 2012.

You can register on this site to join the online conversation. It's quick and easy, and you'll be able to post your reaction to the new version of the Charter, and comment on the posts of other people. If you prefer not to register (although we'd rather you did!) you can click the "I like this response" button to show that you agree with someone else's thoughts.

This website will continue to provide a forum to share your views, suggestions and ideas about how to achieve the Charters outcomes and standards and how tenants are involved in this process.  Add us to your favourites and check out the developments and comments on a regular basis.

You can use Twitter to follow us and send us your thoughts.