A recent report published by the Scottish Parliamentary Working Group on Tenement Maintenance is calling for regular inspections, ownership associations and national funds to improve and protect the future of tenement buildings across Scotland.
This issue has slowly been rising up the Scottish Parliamentary agenda and the Scottish Housing Condition Survey 2017 showed that almost a fifth of all pre-1919 housing has disrepair to critical elements. The survey highlighted that this issue must be addressed to ensure a sustainable standard of living for Scotland’s most common type of dwelling. The Scottish Government voted to review existing tenement legislation and this report can be seen as a result of that.
Some proposed changes are;
• Common parts of tenements should be inspected every 5 years and a report made thereafter which would be publicly available to those with a potential interest in the property.
• Establishing compulsory owners’ associations to provide leadership and an effective decision making process, as well as the ability for groups to enter into contracts
• Building Reserve Fund should introduce compulsory and regular affordable payments enforced to ensure that future major expenditure would be covered.
The Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors (RICS) have labelled the state of tenement maintenance as ‘critical’ and argue that transformative change is required.
The Government are going to engage with the Scottish Law Commission with a view to law reform in this area, although it views the target set by the report of 2025 to be ambitious given the current political climate. In the interim, measures to support voluntary change will be taken forward, such as supporting the establishment of owners associations. Resources are also being put into research, the form of condition reports which professionals will use and the development of an online platform for the reports to be viewed.
Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart, said the actions will help to safeguard Scotland’s tenements, ensuring they continue to provide good quality, safe, sustainable and affordable homes.
If you have any queries or concerns about what these potential changes may mean to you, please do get in touch with any of our lawyersat Paris Steele who would be more than happy to help.