Tuesday 15 September
An updated version of Consumer Focus Scotland’s popular and informative guide to managing common repairs has been published today.
The new version of ‘Common Repair, Common Sense: a short guide to the management of tenements in Scotland’, which was first published in 2004, aims to give owners of tenement flats introductory advice and guidance on their rights and responsibilities. It also deals with the issues they need to understand to successfully carry out common maintenance and repairs.
Laws introduced by the Scottish Government place a firm responsibility on owners to actively maintain their property:
· The Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 provided a structure for maintenance and management of tenements where there is a gap in title deeds;
· The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 gave councils powers to make owners carry out maintenance for which they are responsible.
Both laws are covered in this guide.
Martyn Evans, Director of Consumer Focus Scotland, says that the guide offers property owners the kind of information they need in an easy to use format:
“Common Repair, Common Sense is a guide to owners’ rights and responsibilities for common or shared parts of tenement buildings. It provides an introduction to the issues that should be considered when carrying out maintenance to a building, as well as signposting key sources of further advice.
“Many people living in tenements have found it to be a valuable resource for dealing with the potentially tricky legal and other questions that can arise when tackling these issues. This revised version brings the advice bang up to date and is a must read for anyone embarking on common repairs in tenement buildings.”
Minister for Housing and Communities, Alex Neil said:
“It is crucial that private home owners are given clear, concise guidance on how to maintain their properties.
“They need to know what their rights and responsibilities are when it comes to working with other owners in their tenements. And of course, it is equally important that tenants live in good quality accommodation.
“This guide is to be commended because it provides top quality advice presented in language that is easy to understand.”
Mark Reid of the Scottish Housing Best Value Network, added his support for the guide:
“We welcome the publication of this consumer friendly guide for private home owners. Common Repair, Common Sensewill play a vital role in equippingownersto successfully tackle common repairs and complements the efforts of Scotland’s local authorities as they introduce new schemes of support for home owners aimed at improving private housing conditions across the country.”
Notes to Editor
Among the key issues covered by the guide are:
· managing tenements, including dealing with property managers and factors;
· managing repairs and building maintenance;
· paying for repairs;
· dealing with difficulties, such as disagreements or payment problems; and
· where to obtain further advice.
A tenement is defined in the Tenement (Scotland) Act 2004 as ‘a building compromising two or more related flats that are divided from one another horizontally’. This is a broader definition than the traditional view of a tenement as a residential sandstone or granite building of three or four storeys. This means that large houses that have been converted into flats, high-rise blocks, four-in-a-block and modern apartment blocks are tenements. Around 780,000 households in Scotland live in a tenement property.
To arrange an interview or for more information, contact our Communications Manager, Ryan Norton, on 0141 227 1852 (including out of hours).