Homes in Disrepair
All buildings need to be maintained to keep them performing as they should, keep them safe and to avoid problems getting worse over time. Different standards apply depending on the type of tenure.
The best solution for homes in disrepair is to keep on top of maintenance. There is lots of good advice on our Home Owners page.
The owner is always responsible for the maintenance of a home, but who that is depends and the standard to be met depends on what type of tenure you have:
- All homes must meet the Tolerable Standard. If a home does not meet the Tolerable Standard the council must take legal action to ensure that it is either:
- brought up to the tolerable standard (usually by serving statutory notices on the owner of the house),
- closed to prevent it being used as a home (if attached to any other home), or
- demolished (if it is not attached to any other home)
- All privately rented homes must meet the Repairing Standard, which is a higher standard than the Tolerable Standard. This covers the legal and contractual obligations of private landlords to ensure that a property meets a minimum physical standard. Where a home fails to meet the Repairing Standard, the tenants should notify the landlord of the matters which need attention and give the landlord reasonable time to carry out the necessary work. If the landlord does not do so, the tenant may apply to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber, which will consider the case. If upheld, the Private Rented Housing Panel will issue a Repairing Standard Enforcement Order requiring the landlord to carry out the work which is needed.
- The Scottish Housing Quality Standard is a standard against which all homes can be assessed, but is not a legal requirement. The Scottish Government has set a policy target for all council or housing association homes to be brought up to every element of the Scottish Housing Quality Standard by (where applicable) April 2015.
What if I have a problem?
- If you have a Council House, Request a Repair. Environmental Health Contact Details will only become involved if a reasonable repairs request has not been carried out.
- If you have a house from a housing association or other Registered Social Landlord, contact the landlord in the first instance. Environmental Health will only become involved if a reasonable repairs request has not been carried out.
- If you have private rented property, you should contact your landlord in writing to request that a repair be carried out. Private Rented properties must meet the Repairing Standard, which is laid down in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, as amended. The Repairing Standard is enforced by the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber and it is the tenant's responsibility to make an application for the panel to consider the case. Environmental Health Contact Details can provide advice, but will not make the application on a tenant's behalf. (In some cases, the property will also fail to meet the Tolerable Standard or have structural disrepair, which may allow Environmental Health to get involved directly. Do not wait until you are moving out to do something about disrepair problems.
For problems relating to disrepair in housing, contact Environmental Health and Trading Standards. Where a property is in disrepair, Environmental Health Contact Details can use legal powers relating to defective buildings, substandard homes and Statutory Nuisance to require owners to carry our repairs. However, where the living space or structure of the property is not affected, no formal intervention may be made.