Scottish Housing Regulator removes Thistle Housing Association from register and ends statutory intervention


27 April 2021

The Scottish Housing Regulator has removed Thistle Housing Association from the register of social landlords following the directed transfer of its homes to Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association.

The Regulator has taken this action as Thistle no longer manages or rents homes and no longer carries out social housing activities following the transfer.

The Regulator used its statutory powers to direct a transfer of Thistle’s assets earlier this year after consultation with Thistle’s tenants and factored owners and after an independent ballot saw 92% of Thistle’s tenants vote ‘yes’ to the transfer. 

The Regulator took this action to safeguard the interests of tenants and service users after its statutory intervention and Thistle’s independent investigations identified serious breaches of regulatory requirements, including failures in governance and leadership and failures to comply with health and safety obligations relating to tenants, residents and employees. 

Ian Brennan, Director of Regulation, said:
“We have removed Thistle from the register of social landlords and as it no longer meets the criteria for registration.

“We used our statutory powers to direct the transfer because of the serious and widespread failures in Thistle’s governance and leadership.

“We will continue to engage with Sanctuary Scotland as it delivers on the commitments it made to Thistle’s former tenants and service users.”

The Regulator published an updated engagement plan for Sanctuary in March. 

Read the updated plan for Sanctuary.

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 six 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.


Tracy Davren Communications Manager