Regulator extends statutory intervention at Thistle Housing Association


29 October 2020

The Scottish Housing Regulator has extended its statutory intervention at Thistle Housing Association.

The Regulator’s updated engagement plan, published today, states it is extending its statutory appointments to ensure Thistle can continue to address longstanding governance and management weaknesses and oversee the delivery of the proposed transfer of its homes to Sanctuary Scotland.

Last year, Thistle decided to transfer its homes to another landlord after taking the view that this would be in the best interests of its tenants and residents. Since then, Thistle has been developing the proposals for the transfer in discussion with its tenants and residents. Thistle is now consulting with its tenants on a transfer to Sanctuary Scotland and has commenced an independent ballot which will conclude on 2 November.

The Regulator first intervened at Thistle in August 2018 after it identified serious and widespread failures to comply with the Regulatory Standards of Governance and Financial Management. The Association also failed to meet outcome two of the Scottish Social Housing Charter in how it communicates with its tenants and service users.

The Regulator currently has a statutory manager and eight appointees to the Association’s management committee. These appointments were due for review in October and the Regulator has now decided to continue these appointments until April 2021.

Ian Brennan, Director of Regulation at the Regulator said:

“We are extending our statutory appointments at Thistle to protect the interests of its tenants and residents and ensure it has the leadership it needs to oversee the transfer to Sanctuary Scotland.

“The longstanding governance and management weaknesses at the Association have caused serious and complex failures and put at risk tenant, resident and staff health and safety and the financial health of organisation.

“Thistle remains critically dependent on support from the statutory manager and statutory appointees for the effective strategic leadership and governance it needs to oversee the transfer and to help ensure that the outstanding remedial works required to tenants and residents homes are properly addressed.

“We will continue to work with Thistle as it works to deliver the transfer of its homes to Sanctuary and ensure ensure that all of its serious and complex problems are resolved.”

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


Tracy Davren Communications Manager