Engagement plan from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025

Landlord name

Highland Council

Publication date

02 April 2024

Why we are engaging with Highland Council (Highland) 

We are engaging with Highland about its services for people who are homeless and tenant and resident safety 

During 2023/24, we reviewed and compared the data for all local authorities from the Scottish Government’s national homelessness statistics.  We also spoke to all local authorities to gather further information and assurance about their homelessness services.  To assess the risks to people who are threatened with or experiencing homelessness we will engage with all local authorities during 2024/25 with a focus on the provision of appropriate temporary accommodation. 

We will engage with Highland in particular about the following areas:    

  • the provision of temporary accommodation by Highland to people who are homeless; and  
  • outcomes for people who are homeless.    

Highland has told us that a significant number of its tenants’ homes do not fully comply with electrical safety requirements which came into force in early 2022 and form part of the Scottish Housing Quality Standard. Highland is currently progressing inspections to provide Electrical Installation Condition Reports in all of its tenants’ homes.   

Highland has told us about challenges it has faced, including accessing tenants’ homes and the availability of contractors, which has delayed its progress to complete the outstanding works. We expect Highland to have appropriate plans in place to mitigate the delays in progressing these works.  

What Highland must do 

Highland must:  

  • send us the information we require in relation to its homelessness service; 
  • tell us about any emerging issues preventing it from fulfilling its statutory duty to provide temporary accommodation when it should and comply with the Unsuitable Accommodation Order; and 
  • send us monthly updates on progress on achieving compliance with electrical safety requirements. 

What we will do 

We will: 

  • review the information Highland provides about its homelessness service;  
  • meet with Highland by 31 July 2024 to discuss its homelessness service and engage as necessary;  
  • meet with Highland to seek assurance if it does not provide temporary accommodation when it should, or if it breaches the Unsuitable Accommodation Order;  
  • review Highland’s progress on achieving compliance with electrical safety requirements and engage as necessary; and 
  • update our published engagement plan in the light of any material change to our planned engagement with Highland. 

Regulatory returns  

Highland must provide us with the following annual regulatory returns: 

  • Annual Assurance Statement; and  
  • Annual Return on the Charter. 

It should also notify us of any material changes to its Annual Assurance Statement, and any tenant and resident safety matter which has been reported to or is being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive or reports from regulatory or statutory authorities or insurance providers, relating to safety concerns.  

Our lead officer for Highland Council is:

Kirsty Porter

Regulation Manager