Michael Cameron: Tenants may never have it so good

Nine out of ten tenants are satisfied with their landlords, according to a new report. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Nine out of ten tenants are satisfied with their landlords, according to a new report. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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In Scotland nearly 600,000 families live in social housing. Our analysis for 2014-15, using data provided to us by just under 200 social housing landlords, shows that social housing tenants are happy with their landlords and are receiving good services which are improving.

This is the national picture from our analysis of the data in the second annual National Report on the Scottish Social Housing Charter.

Nearly nine in ten tenants are satisfied with their landlords. When we look at the social housing sector as a whole, we see that landlords are performing well. This is good news, particularly as landlords were starting from a strong position in the previous year.

Of course, there are variations in performance with the greatest improvements made by those with the furthest to go. This is most clearly demonstrated in the difference between national averages for Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and local authorities. Overall, RSLs have higher averages on performance and are reporting smaller changes since last year, whereas local authority averages are starting behind RSLs’ but they are improving by more.

Our analysis highlights the things most closely associated with overall tenant satisfaction, and so the areas where improvement may deliver still higher tenant satisfaction. These are: being kept informed about services and decisions; effective neighbourhood management; repairs and maintenance, including quick non-emergency repairs; opportunities to participate; and quick turnaround of empty houses.

Tenants, and the general public, now have access to more performance information than ever before about social landlords in Scotland. It’s then for landlords to work with tenants and otherrs to maintain and improve performance, and so build on the generally positive picture in Scotland.

• Michael Cameron is chief executive of the Scottish Housing Regulator

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