For many people joining a tenants and residents group provides support and encourages them to have their say. As a member of a group you will work together with your neighbours to influence services in your community and, if you wish, become involved in wider policy reviews which affect all Bield tenants. Many groups also organise community events and benefit from improved community spirit.
If there is an RTO in your area, you will have the opportunity to attend your local Registered Tenant Organisation Forums and meet with Housing staff to discuss and resolve issues in your neighbourhood, and to conduct estate walkabouts with our employees to identify problems and agree solutions for your area.
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 introduced registration of tenant organisations. If your group becomes a Registered Tenant Organisation you have a legal right to be consulted on housing issues. The aim is to give tenants and residents associations, that meet certain criteria, a recognised role in the tenant participation process.
What is involved in RTOs
A group must apply to become registered. To help with this, we have an application form which asks for all the necessary information. Part of this application includes the need to send us certain information.
Tenants and Residents Groups need to apply to become registered and must meet certain criteria to qualify. The criteria for registration have been set out by the Scottish Government and cover a number of points.
Groups who do become RTOs are entitled to certain rights, and the landlord has a duty to inform and consult with them on housing matters.
Tenants and Residents Groups must meet the required criteria to achieve registration. In accordance with data protection sensitivities, the information made available consists of:
- name of the group
- area the group represents
- how to contact the group
- meeting information
- other information
- date of original registration
- details of current registration
If you meet the registration criteria, we will place you on the register and let you know in writing that you have qualified and from what date.
If you don't meet the registration criteria, we will tell you in writing of our decision not to place you on the register, the reasons why you don't meet the criteria and your right of appeal to Scottish Ministers.
If you don't register we will still keep your details on file and include you in any consultation that we do. However you will not be classed as an RTO and you will not have the statutory rights of an RTO.
As an RTO, you will have a recognised role in the participation process. You will have the right to be consulted on issues affecting you. You will also have the right to have your opinions taken into account in any consultation.
Register of RTOs
We maintain a register of tenant organisations. The register is a public document and is available for inspection online or can be sent to all Registered Tenant Organisations on request.
We are required by law to make the register publicly available. The register must include contact details for groups, however if you prefer, you can use a post office box or 'care of' address. The register will be available on our website.
A group can be removed from the Register if it no longer meets the registration criteria. A group can also ask to be removed from the Register and it must apply in writing to do this. If a group ceases to exist it will also be removed.
You have the right to appeal if you are refused registration. You also have the right to appeal against any decision to remove you from the Register or if we refuse to remove you on your request.
You can register with any social landlord who has housing stock in the area you cover.
Registration will last for three years. After this period, groups will have to reapply.