Regulator’s National Panel gives insight into tenant participation and digital engagement


13 August 2019

A new report from the Scottish Housing Regulator explores awareness and experiences of tenant participation and access to digital services. The report presents feedback from members of the National Panel of Tenants and Service Users, now in its sixth year.

The report shows widespread awareness and interest in tenant participation amongst National Panel members as well as an appetite for more opportunities to get involved. Most members have already taken part in some form of tenant engagement. The report highlights a range of benefits expressed by tenants, including a sense of community and a feeling that landlords are listening to them. It gives suggestions for how landlords could further develop their approaches.

The report also presents National Panel members’ views and experiences of digital access to services. Panel members have a high level of digital engagement. The overwhelming majority of members across all age groups have access to the internet at home and feel confident using it. Four fifths of members said they most commonly receive information from their landlord digitally, and more than half said that online options are their preferred way to get information from their landlord. The report also explains the factors that deter some members from using digital services, including to contact their landlord.

This is the first of four themed reports from the National Panel. The Regulator will publish further reports during August looking at homelessness services, affordability and Gypsy/Traveller sites.

Iain Muirhead, Director of Digital and Business Support, said “The National Panel continues to give us valuable insights into what’s important to people who use social landlords’ services. Today’s report gives a snapshot of how tenants are embracing digital services and reinforces the value to tenants of engaging with their landlord. The findings will be of interest to all social landlords”.

The National Panel has around 425 members. It is open to anyone who is a social housing tenant or uses social landlords’ services. Membership is diverse and includes people from urban and rural areas, across age bands, local authority and RSL tenants.

Anyone interested in joining the National Panel should contact Engage Scotland on 0800 433 7212 or email

Read the findings of our latest research with the National Panel of Tenants and Service Users


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 eight Board members. More information about the Regulator can be found on its website at
  2. SHR regulates around 160 registered social landlords and the housing activities of 32 local authorities.
  3. SHR sets out its approach to regulation in its published Regulatory Framework – Regulation of Social Housing in Scotland.