Changes to tenement maintenance legislation considered
New measures will be introduced to improve and maintain tenement flats across Scotland.
Legislative changes being considered include compulsory owners’ associations, building inspections every five years and a national reserve fund for repairs.
In the interim, measures to support voluntary change will be taken forward, such as supporting the establishment of owners associations.
Following the publication of the Scottish Parliamentary Working Group on Tenement Maintenance’s Final Report in June this, MSPs agreed that the working group’s recommendations merited serious and careful consideration.
The Scottish Government has now responded to the report and will now carefully consider advice from the Scottish Law Commission due to the significant legislative changes needed to make the recommendations mandatory.
Housing minister Kevin Stewart said the actions will help to safeguard Scotland’s tenements, ensuring they continue to provide good quality, safe, sustainable and affordable homes.
He added: “These measures reinforce our commitment to support tenement owners and protect such an important part of our national heritage.
“Whilst tenements continue to provide good quality, safe, sustainable and affordable homes, this programme of support will help to ensure they are protected and preserved.
“Homeowners and landlords in tenements need to fully accept their shared responsibilities for the upkeep of their property to ensure all those living in tenements have good quality homes.”
Hew Edgar, head of UK Government relations and city strategy at RICS, said: “RICS welcomes the Government’s positive response to the Scottish Parliamentary Working Group on Tenement Maintenance’s report.
“RICS first mooted for action on tenement maintenance in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 and, in the intervening years, worked with the sector to develop a policy proposal for regular condition surveys undertaken by suitably qualified professionals; and appealed to parliamentarians to raise the issue of tenement repair and maintenance up the Scottish parliamentary agenda.
“Needless to say, we were delighted to hear of the establishment of working group, and be a co-secretariat.
“RICS welcomes all recommendations within the report; and whilst a tenement condition report is just one aspect of the report’s recommendations, we are delighted that the government recognises the need for a new framework.
“We look forward to continuing our working group activity, and working with the Scottish Government in bringing forward a new approach to tenement maintenance that will bring multiple benefits to residents and future proof a significant proportion of Scotland’s residential stock.”