Last edited 16 Jun 2021

Scottish housing standard


In March 2021, the Scottish Government announced plans for a legal requirement for all homes to meet the same standards.

Intended to ensure the equal quality of homes, the Scottish housing standard will apply to all tenures. It is considered an important element of Housing to 2040, which will set the path for how Scotland’s homes and communities should look and feel in 2040

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said it will create a single set of quality and accessibility standards; “...aligned to standards for energy efficiency and heating, meeting expectations for housing as a human right and delivering homes that underpin health and wellbeing... This will cover all homes, new and existing, with no margins of tolerance for substandard accommodation. Importantly we will also enshrine the Standard in law.

“The Scottish Government will work with local authorities, registered social landlords, private landlords and communities to drive improvements to the quality of all homes so that everyone is living in good quality accommodation, regardless of whether they own it or rent it from a private or social landlord. Our existing homes need to keep pace with new homes to ensure no one is left behind.”

The Scottish Government plans to publish a draft Standard in 2023 and introduce legislation in 2024-25 for phased introduction between 2025 and 2030, recognising that different types of homes in different places may need more or less time to achieve compliance.

NB The Tolerable Standard for housing was introduced in 1969. It has been added to periodically, setting out minimum requirements for habitation. Under the 1969 standard, owners and landlords can work towards different quality requirements with separate mechanisms for enforcement, depending on the tenure of a home. There are also exceptions in some local circumstances, such as homes in rural areas, agricultural properties or hard to treat buildings.

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