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Private Sector Housing Standards

Is there a minimum standard for house condition?

All houses must meet the tolerable standard.  The tolerable standard is a condemnatory standard, and a house that is below tolerable standard is not acceptable as living accommodation.  Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure that any house in their area which does not meet the tolerable standard is closed, demolished or brought up to standard within a reasonable period. 

In order to bring houses up to standard, the local authority has the power to issue a work notice which would require all the owners to carry out repairs that are needed. 

Can my local authority force me to carry out work on my home?

Under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, all local authorities in Scotland can issue work notices and maintenance orders.  Under the Building (Scotland) Act 2003, local authorities can issue dangerous and defective building notices.  Local authorities can also require owners to carry out work under environmental health legislation.

If the local authority serves you with a work notice or maintenance order, you are entitled to receive help from the authority.  The type of assistance will vary depending on which notice/order is served and on individual local authorities' priorities, but can include practical information or advice, practical assistance, or financial assistance, in the form of loans or grants. Contact your local authority for more information on what support might be available.

Local authorities have been provided with guidance to help them use work notices and maintenance orders and provide assistance to home owners.

For further information on appealing against a local authority decision please see the Appeals section.