Regulator consults on directing transfer of assets from Thistle Housing Association to Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association


12 November 2020

The Scottish Housing Regulator will consult on directing a transfer of all assets from Thistle Housing Association to Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association.

Thistle held an independent ballot of tenants on its proposal for a voluntary transfer to Sanctuary Scotland, which closed on 2nd November.  The majority (70%) of tenants voted in the ballot, with 92% of those voting yes. 

Despite the positive ballot result, Thistle's management committee were concerned that there may be a significant delay to the transfer which could put delivery of the transfer in jeopardy and create a serious risk to the interests of Thistle’s tenants and factored owners.

As a result, Thistle asked  the Scottish Housing Regulator to consider using its statutory power under section 67 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010 to direct the transfer of all of Thistle's assets to Sanctuary Scotland.  Under section 67 the Regulator can direct a transfer, if certain conditions are met.  After making  inquiries, the Regulator considers that these conditions are met.

Ian Brennan, Director of Regulation at the Regulator said:

“We are required by section 67 to consult with tenants, secured creditors and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator prior to directing a transfer. We have decided to include Thistle's factored owners in the consultation. We have appointed Tenants Information Service to assist with the tenant and factored owner element of the consultation. We have written to Thistle’s tenants and factored owners today to provide more information about this.

“We will take account of the views of all consultees when we consider whether to direct a transfer of all of Thistle’s assets to Sanctuary Scotland.”

The Regulator has updated its engagement plan to reflect this decision.

Read the updated engagement plan for Thistle Housing Association.

Notes to editors

  1. The Scottish Housing Regulator was established on 1 April 2011 under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010. Its objective is to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and others who use local authority and RSL housing services. The Regulator operates independently of Scottish Ministers and is accountable directly to the Scottish Parliament. It assumed its full regulatory responsibilities on 1 April 2012. The Regulator consists of the Chair and seven Board members. More information about the Regulator can be found on its website at
  2. SHR sets out how it regulates social landlords in its published framework – Regulation of Social Housing in Scotland.
  3. The information the Regulator has published about Thistle Housing Association including its past engagement is available on its landlord Directory
  4. The SHR is required by law to consult with tenants on the proposal before any decision on a directed transfer is made. The consultation process must be carried out in accordance with the SHR’s ‘Statutory Guidance on Consultation where the Regulator is directing a transfer of assets’. A copy of this guidance can be found on the SHR’s website.


Tracy Davren Communications Manager