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Tenements

The Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 was the last part of the programme of property law reform. The Act was brought into force on 28 November 2004

The term 'tenement' covers a wide range of property including traditional sandstone tenements, large houses converted into flats, high rise blocks and four-in-a-block. The Act provides a structure for the maintenance and management of tenements if this is not provided for in the owner's title deeds. The Tenement Management Scheme is the main instrument of reform in the Act.

Tenements form over a quarter of the housing stock in Scotland and come in all shapes and sizes. Most tenements are residential blocks, but office blocks also fall within the definition. So do large houses which have been divided into flats. This captures a much wider range of properties than is commonly imagined.

Common law rules governing the maintenance and management of tenements have developed since the 17th Century, but these are not comprehensive nor without anomaly. The development of the law on real burdens, however, has helped to impose obligations on successive owners to adhere to a detailed regime for management and repair of a tenement. These burdens are drawn up to suit the particular circumstances of the tenement.

But not all title deeds are comprehensive and they do not always provide burdens to specify how the owners are to decide on matters of mutual interest. If title deeds make no provision on one matter, the common law will apply on that one matter. The common law acts as a background or default law and most tenements, particularly new tenements, will have a detailed system of management provided by the title deeds to the property. The common law will only apply where there is a gap in the title deeds.

Tenements (Scotland) Bill: Consultation paper and draft Bill

Tenements (Scotland) Bill: Consultation Report

Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004

Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004: Explanatory Notes

Tenements (Scotland) Bill: Policy Memorandum

Management and Maintenance of Common Property - Guidance on the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 and the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003 for Housing Professionals

The risks against which an owner of a flat within a tenement is required to insure