Home Condition, Maintenance and Disrepair
Homes that are not properly maintained are not pleasant to live in, may be unhealthy and will only get worse with time. The longer maintenance is ignored, the more time consuming and expensive it is to sort out. Homeowners have responsibility for maintaining their homes, whether they live in them or rent them out.
Depending on the ownership of the house, different minimum standards apply:
- All homes must meet the "Tolerable Standard";
- Privately rented homes must meet the "Repairing Standard"; and
- Homes rented from a housing association or a local council should be getting brought up to the Scottish Housing Quality Standard.
For more explanation as to what these are and how they apply, see Homes in Disrepair.
Maintaining a home is key to keeping it safe, healthy and pleasant to live in. Homes that are not maintained can become:
- unsafe due to rot, pieces falling off, or gas or electrical safety problems;
- damp, which can affect the health of those living there and damage personal possessions;
- more difficult to heat due to moisture in the walls conducting heat away; and
- a problem for neighbours, especially if they damage neighbouring properties.
Whether you own your home or rent it out, there should be a plan to keep on top of maintenance. Advice can be found on the Scottish Government's web pages on looking after your property.
Finding a reputable builder can be a worry. To avoid problems, select a builder on:
The owner is always responsible for the maintenance of a home, but who that is depends on what type of tenure you have. For more information see Homes in Disrepair.
If you own a flat or other property which has other homes (and perhaps businesses) in it, maintenance of many areas will be a joint responsibility with other owners. Your title deeds will often explain what is your responsibility and what is shared. However, some older title deeds don't make it clear or cover all situations. In these cases, the Tenement Management Scheme of the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 lays down who is responsible for what.
Common repairs can become expensive because often there is no plan in place for preventative maintenance. When it becomes clear that repairs are needed, they can be delayed because owners cannot agree the work. This allows more damage to occur, putting up the costs. Although there is no law that requires a building to have a factor to help organise maintenance and repair, it is often a good idea.
Under One Roof is an excellent web resource to help owners of flats plan and organise joint repairs and maintenance with other owners in the building.
Generally, repairs and maintenance inside flats are the responsibility of the owner.
Scheme of Assistance
Grants for home improvements and repairs are no longer available, except for disabled adaptations. For details of what other assistance the council can offer, please contact Housing Strategy and Development for information on the Scheme of Assistance.