If the council forces you to repair or demolish your home

If you own your home, the council can only force you to repair or demolish your home if it's dangerous or unsafe.

They can give you advice and support to do the work. If you disagree with them, you can appeal against the order in court.

If you own a property that cannot be lived in because of repair problems, contact the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership for advice.

When the council can send you a notice or order

The council may contact you when your home is:

  • a hazard to people’s health

  • a danger to other buildings around it

  • in serious structural disrepair

  • in poor condition and likely to deteriorate

The council can send you a notice or order telling you to repair or demolish your home.

Types of notices or orders you can get

The council can send you any of the following:

  • maintenance order

  • work notice

  • closing order

  • abatement order

  • dangerous or defective building order

  • demolition notice

  • demolition order

What a notice or order should say

  • what to do to put it right

  • how long you have to do the work

  • what happens if you fail to do the work

You may get more than one warning before being told to demolish your home. You should be given time to put it right.

The council may offer to do the work if there is more than one property affected and it's cheaper or easier for them to do it.

If you agree to do the work

Ask the council what help and advice they'll give you. They can help you plan work and find contractors.

You could get advice, support and grants through the scheme of assistance.

If you do not agree to do the work

Tell the council why you do not think work is needed. Try to reach an agreement that works for both of you.

If this does not work, you can appeal against any notice or order in court.

There's usually a deadline of 21 days to appeal from the day you get the notice or order. You will need a solicitor to help you appeal.

Find a solicitor on the Law Society of Scotland website. You could get free legal advice or legal aid to help with costs.

If you fail to do repairs or demolition work

The council may do the work and charge you for the costs.

You could be fined if you do not follow a closing notice or an abatement order.

The council can use a compulsory purchase order to buy your home to do repairs or demolish it.

Finding somewhere else to live

If you decide to move out, we have guidance on finding a place to live.

If you have nowhere to go because your home is unsafe or being demolished, contact the council to make a homeless application.

Compensation from the council

If your home is demolished or you have to move out, you could get compensation, such as:

Last updated: 17 July 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

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