Rights of access for repairs

The tenant has an implied obligation to the landlord to give access for repairs.

This content applies to Scotland

Access for repairs

The landlord has a right to enter premises to view their condition and state of repair at reasonable times of the day on giving 24 hours' notice in writing, (for private residential tenants 48 hours notice is required). [1] Scottish secure tenants must also allow the landlord the same access in order to carry out repairs that will keep the property wind and watertight and reasonably fit for human habitation. [2] Assured tenants are subject to a provision allowing a right of access to landlords at reasonable times to execute repairs they are entitled to carry out. [3]

A private sector landlord can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) for assistance in exercising rights of entry if they are unable to gain access to the property. The Housing and Property Chamber can assist in arranging a suitable date for access and where required fix a date for access if a tenant and landlord cannot agree a date. [4]

Repairs requiring tenant to move out

It will not always be possible to carry out some types of repairs whilst the tenant remains in the property. Scottish secure tenants have more likelihood of being provided with 'decant' accommodation by their landlord, although any temporary accommodation is excluded from being a Scottish secure tenancy. [5] Assured tenants are entitled to the cost of alternative accommodation where they must move out in order for repair to be carried out. [6] Tenants may also be entitled to an abatement of rent, as they will be unable to use either part or all of the property due to disrepair.

If the landlord of an assured tenant intends to do substantial work on a building of which the tenant's accommodation forms a part, and the tenant hampers this work, the landlord may seek possession of the property. In these circumstances ground 6 of schedule 5 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 may be used. This is a mandatory ground of repossession although a tenant removed under this ground is entitled to reasonable expenses for moving. If the landlord and tenant cannot agree what 'reasonable expenses' are, then the sheriff will determine this. If suitable alternative accommodation is available then the landlord may use ground 9 of schedule 5 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988. This is a discretionary ground of possession and the landlord will have to establish that it is reasonable that decree be granted. Again, the tenant is entitled to reasonable removal expenses.

Scottish secure tenants can also be evicted if they are unwilling to move out to enable substantial repair works to be carried out. However ground 10 of schedule 2 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 can only be used where the landlord can show that suitable alternative accommodation is available.

Last updated: 6 April 2020

Footnotes

  • [1]

    For Scottish Secure Tenants: Sch.4 para.4 Housing (Scotland) Act 2001, for private tenants who are not in a PRT: s.184(4) Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 and for tenants in PRT: sch.2 para 6. Private Housing (Tenancies)(Scotland) Act 2016

  • [2]

    sch.4 para.4(b) Housing (Scotland) Act 2001

  • [3]

    s.26 Housing (Scotland) Act 1988

  • [4]

    s.28A Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 as amended by s.35 Private Rented Housing (Scotland) Act 2011

  • [5]

    sch.1 para.4 Housing (Scotland) Act 2001

  • [6]

    McGreal v Wake (1984) 128 SJ 116; (1984) 13 HLR 107 (CA)