Today (Wednesday 18th September) is Scottish Housing Day - an important date in the calendar celebrating the positive impact that good quality housing makes to the lives of people and communities, and highlighting the housing options that are available.

At SafeDeposits Scotland we feel privileged to play a positive part in the Scottish property landscape - specifically the private rented sector, which according to the most recent available statistics comprises over 390,000 households up and down the country.

Our responsibilities as a tenancy deposit scheme - to protect deposits as required by legislation and to provide both tenants and landlords with the opportunity for recourse through our free alternative dispute resolution service - are well known, but alongside our day to day duties we keep an active and genuine interest in Scottish housing. This helps us to understand the needs of our users.

Earlier this year, for example, we conducted a research survey among the tenants whose deposits we protect. This presented us with a number of trends, including the geography of tenants and the types of property in which they live. Thus information can help us when considering the types of guidance information we provide to those using the scheme - a tenant whose rented property has a garden will have different considerations to someone living in a flat for instance.

We found that tenants whose deposits we protect live in all shapes and sizes of property, including cottages, farmhouses, studios and refurbished former council flats. New build flats are popular, as are detached houses, but the largest share of respondents to the survey said that they stayed in a tenement flat - perhaps the most iconic form of housing in Scotland.

As a not-for-profit organisation, financial surpluses generated by SafeDeposits Scotland are donated to the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust, a grant-giving charity aimed at promoting education, training and best practice in Scotland's private rented sector. All projects which receive grants from the Trust meet these aims, and many of them contribute to Scottish housing in a wider sense.

Take Under One Roof for example - this organisation provides impartial advice on repairs and maintenance for flat owners in Scotland and with funding from the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust has presented a series of well-attended private landlord seminars on common repair issues. Information and advice has been given at these seminars to help landlords overcome barriers that they may have encountered in blocks of flats - including the aforementioned tenements - and ensure that their tenant's home is structurally safe, sound and secure.

Other funded projects include: the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic's Housing Right Project; Action for Children's Family Sustainment Service in Dundee, whose areas of support include helping people to explore all housing options; Positive Action in Housing's Private Rented Sector Advice project, which includes helping the charity's clients to access safe and good-quality housing.

Further information on the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust - including steps to apply for funding - can be found at www.safedepositsscotlandtrust.com

For more information on Scottish Housing Day visit www.scottishhousingday.co.uk