Introduction to homelessness

This section is an overview of the law relating to homelessness in Scotland.

Legislation on homelessness is contained in Part II of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, as amended by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 and the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003. This section gives a broad outline of the amended legislation and the duties imposed on local authorities.

Although the 1987 Act, as amended, is the primary legislation regarding local authorities' duties to homeless people in Scotland, the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 and the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 are all also relevant to each local authority's duties to certain categories of homeless persons.

Sources of homelessness law and guidance

The section gives a brief overview of the various legislation concerned with homelessness. 

Outline of the legislation

This section outlines the criteria that are considered when someone makes an application as homeless. 

Cooperation with other bodies

The Code of Guidance on homelessness contains guidelines on cooperation with other bodies when dealing with homelessness applications. 

Criminal offences

It is possible to commit a criminal offence in making a homeless application by withholding, or giving false, information. 

This content applies to Scotland

Last updated: 1 November 2019