The first Charter came into effect on 1 April 2012 and was reviewed during 2016 and 2021. The resulting revised Charter was approved by resolution of the Scottish Parliament on 5 October, has effect from 1 November 2022 and continues to apply until the Parliament approves a further revised Charter.
The Charter helps to improve the quality and value of the services that social landlords provide, and supports the Scottish Government’s National Outcomes on communities, environment and human rights which describe the kind of Scotland they want to see. The Charter does so by:
- Stating clearly what tenants and other customers can expect from social landlords, helping them to hold landlords to account
- Focusing the efforts of social landlords on achieving outcomes that matter to their customers
- Providing the basis for the Scottish Housing Regulator to assess and report on how well landlords are performing. This assessment enables the Regulator, social landlords, tenants and other customers
to identify areas of strong performance and areas needing improvement.
The right to adequate housing is a human right in international law. All the outcomes and standards in the Charter support this right by setting the standards and outcomes that social landlords should achieve for their
tenants and other customers by delivering good quality homes and services.
The Charter has seven sections, it contains a total of 16 outcomes and standards that social landlords should
achieve. The outcomes and standards apply to all social landlords, with the exception of number 12 which applies only to councils regarding their homelessness duties; and number 16 which applies only to councils and registered social landlords that manage sites for Gypsy/ Travellers.
Ark perform all aspects of their housing services so that:
- they support the right to adequate housing
- every tenant and other customer has their individual needs and rights recognised, is treated fairly and with
respect, and receives fair access to housing and housing services.
Ark manages their businesses so tenants and other customers find it easy to communicate with their landlord and get the information they need about their landlord, how and why it makes decisions and the services it provides.
Ark manages their businesses so that tenants and other customers are offered a range of opportunities that make it easy for them to participate in, and influence their landlord’s decisions at a level they feel comfortable with.
Housing quality and maintenance quality of housing
Ark manages their businesses so tenants’ homes, as a minimum, when they are allocated are always clean, tidy and in a good state of repair, meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS), and any other building quality standard in place throughout the tenancy; and also meet the relevant Energy Efficiency and Zero Emission Heat Standard.
Repairs, maintenance and improvements
Ark manages their businesses so that: tenants' homes are well maintained, with repairs and improvements carried out when required, and tenants are given reasonable choices about when work is done.
Neighbourhood and community Estate management, anti-social behaviour, neighbour nuisance and tenancy disputes
Ark, working in partnership with other agencies, help to ensure as far as reasonably possible that: tenants and other customers live in well-maintained neighbourhoods where they feel safe.
Access to housing and support housing options
Ark and other housing providers work together to ensure that:
- People looking for housing get information that helps them make informed choices and decisions about the range of housing options available to them
- Tenants and people on housing lists can review their housing options
Ark ensures that people at risk of losing their homes get advice on preventing homelessness.
Ark ensures that people looking for housing find it easy to apply for the widest choice of social housing available and get the information they need on how the landlord allocates homes and on their prospects of being housed.
Ark ensure that:
- Tenants get the information they need on how to obtain support to remain in their home; and ensure suitable support is available, including services provided directly by the landlord and by other organisations
Value for money
Ark manage all aspects of their businesses so that:
- Tenants, owners and other customers receive services that provide continually improving value for the rent and other charges they pay
Rents and service charges
Ark set rents and service charges in consultation with their tenants and other customers so that:
- A balance is struck between the level of services provided, the cost of the services, and how far current and prospective tenants and service users can afford them
- Tenants get clear information on how rent and other money is spent, including details of any individual items of expenditure above thresholds agreed between landlords and tenants
A full version of the Scottish Social Housing Charter can be found here.
Each year Ark produces an annual report detailing our performance against the outcomes of the Scottish Social Housing Charter. A copy of this can be found here.
The Scottish Housing Regulators Website allows you to compare Ark's performance with other landlords.