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About council housing

There are currently around 4800 people on the Council's waiting lists, which include mainstream waiting list applicants, current council tenants wishing to transfer and homeless applicants.

Since only around 800-900 Council properties become vacant each year, South Ayrshire is considered as one of the most pressurised areas in Scotland for Council housing.

As Council housing in South Ayrshire is in such high demand, it is important to know how the Council assesses someone's housing need and why some people are given a higher priority than others.

How is Housing Allocated

When selecting applicants for offers of vacant properties the Divisional Housing Manager will consider applicants from the top of each of the 3 lists - mainstream waiting list, transfer and homeless.

In the case of every vacancy, consideration will first be given to applicants prioritised under the Community Care, Priority Medical, Priority Transfer and Individual Case assessments.

Otherwise, in selecting the most appropriate applicant, and with regard to the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001, reasonable preference will be given to applicants on the lists who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Applicants occupying houses which do not meet the Tolerable Standard
  • Applicants who are occupying overcrowded houses
  • Applicants with large families
  • Applicants living under unsatisfactory housing conditions, or
  • Applicants who are Homeless or are threatened with Homelessness (as defined by the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 and amended by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001).

Council housing stock

South Ayrshire Council currently own and manage around 8100 properties, made up of general needs housing and sheltered housing units designed for the elderly or other people who need warden support. The stock is made up mainly of flats (over 50%), with the remainder being a mix of houses, maisonettes and some bungalows.

The Council's stock has been reducing by around 30 per year by current tenants exercising their rights under the "Right to Buy" scheme.

The Council owns and manages just over 20% of the total housing stock in South Ayrshire, which is one of the lowest levels in Scotland. Despite this, the Council remains the biggest provider of social-rented housing in the area. Housing Associations and other Registered Social Landlords only own around 2% of the total housing stock in South Ayrshire.

Important information on the end of Right to Buy

The Right to Buy for Council tenants in Scotland will end on the 1st August 2016.

Tenants with a right to buy, that they are allowed to use, can apply to buy their house during the 2 year period before the Right to Buy ends.

The Scottish Government has published a guide for secure tenants of South Ayrshire Council.

What size of property would I be eligible for

For all applicants, the Council will assess the size of property you require as per the Department for Work and Pensions criteria (DWP) follows:

  • Adult Couple (married or unmarried) - One bedroom to share
  • Single person over 16 - One bedroom per person
  • Two children, of the same sex, aged under 16 - One bedroom to share
  • Two children aged under 10 - One bedroom to share
  • Parent with shared care arrangements (not child’s main residence) - No additional bedrooms required

In the following instances you may be considered for 1 bedroom more than your household require under South Ayrshire Council’s allocations policy:

  • Single applicants - One or two bedroom property as far as stock supply allows
  • Couples without children - One or two bedroom property as far as stock supply allows
  • Applicants with children - The choice of an additional bedroom can be offered to applicants with children, where one child is at least 8 years old and they are separated by at least a 4 year age gap

    Due to the limited availability of 4 bedroom properties, this choice will not be offered if it would result in the household requiring a 4 bedroom property
  • Larger families - Households waiting on 4 bedroom properties can choose to be placed on the 3 bedroom list if there are no 4 bedroom properties in their chosen letting neighbourhoods. Overcrowding points will not be awarded for the additional rooms required if this choice is made
  • Applicants with a medical priority - May be considered for an additional bedroom where a particular condition warrants this, e.g. an applicant who requires a carer to be resident on a 24 hour basis, or a room is required for large medical equipment, e.g. dialysis machine
  • Parents who have shared responsibility for their children - Can request one additional bedroom, regardless of the number of children involved. Proof of shared responsibility is required. The Divisional Housing Manager will determine the size of accommodation required.
  • Transfer applicants who are currently under crowded will be entitled to transfer to a property with one additional bedroom. Transfer applicants who are under occupied by 2 or more bedrooms, and live in an area of high demand will be given additional priority for a move of house.

If you meet any of the above criteria and wish to be held for an extra bedroom you must enclose the relevant proof with your application, where this is requested.


Applicants will be held for the number of bedrooms they require for their household as defined by the criteria set by the DWP. Applicants may choose to have one bedroom more than they need for their household (where South Ayrshire Housing Allocation Policy rules and stock supply allow (as detailed above).If an applicant accepts a tenancy with South Ayrshire Council, their housing benefit may be reduced if they have more bedrooms than they need for their household (as defined by the DWP), and they may face difficulties in being able to pay their rent.

If a Council housing applicant chooses to exercise their choice of being allocated a property with more bedrooms than needed (as defined by DWP criteria), they will be asked to complete a disclaimer form confirming they understand and accept the financial implications of this choice.

Where is housing available to meet my needs

View details of Council Housing stock levels.

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Last updated: 15 September 2015

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