Annex H – Access to common parts
H.1 Section 13(1)(i) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 requires that any common parts pertaining to the house can be safely accessed and used.
H.2 When the privately rented house is a flat in a tenement, and the tenancy agreement includes the use of common parts such as common closes and shared gardens, the tenant must be able to safely use and access these areas.
- Access to the property;
- Common closes;
- Common stairs;
- Common lifts;
- Bin stores; and
- Drying areas.
Unless the tenancy agreement excludes the use of the common parts.
H.3 In order to meet the requirement that common parts can be accessed safely, there must be:
- Adequate lighting, so that tenants are not at risk of falling or of criminal attack;
- Paths and ramps are safe underfoot;
- Common spaces are kept clear of obstructions, that would affect their use or impede evacuation in the event of fire;
- Common spaces are kept reasonably clean and tidy; and
- Any mechanical component required to make use of the space must be in good working order.
H.4 In relation to the obstructions and cleanliness of common areas, landlords are entitled to expect tenants to store possessions such as bicycles and pushchairs appropriately and dispose of rubbish properly, but if necessary items may have to be removed. Cleaning of common areas can be required by local authorities under provisions of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.
H.5 The responsibilities of landlords are limited by the need for the consent of other owners in a building, as set out in Chapter 7 of this guidance.
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