Social housing - allocations

Allocation rules govern the way that local authorities and registered social landlords allocate housing, for example they determine how applications for housing are prioritised.

Within these relatively limited parameters, local authorities and registered social landlords are free to decide allocation polices.

Duty to publish allocation rules

Applicants who apply to a local authority or registered social landlord for housing have the right to access the rules that determine whether they will be admitted to a waiting list or allocated a house. 

Allocation of tenancies

Once an applicant has been placed on a housing list, some restrictions are placed on how local authorities or registered social landlords can allocate housing to the applicant. 

Admission to a housing list

The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 as amended by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 defines a housing list, a housing provider and who can apply to be on a housing list. 

Other statutory restrictions

There are additional statutory restrictions that apply to a local authority or registered social landlord when it is allocating accommodation. 

Allocation policies

Subject to the statutory restrictions, local authorities and registered social landlords are free to exercise discretion in the framing of allocation policies. 

Moving to another house

There are a number of options open to a tenant who wishes to move to another home. 

Challenging allocation decisions

There are a number of ways in which a registered social landlord or local authority can be challenged about the decision it has made when allocating accommodation. 

Choice-based lettings

Choice-based-lettings are a way for local authorities, housing associations and registered social landlords to allocate social housing to applicants on their waiting and transfer lists. 

Common Housing Registers

Common housing registers allow applicants to apply for housing from various providers in one application. 

This content applies to Scotland

Last updated: 26 April 2019