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Support and shelter

This section looks at the responsibilities of flat-owners to the support and shelter of the building as a whole.

This content applies to Scotland

Support and shelter of the building

Each flat owner has a duty, where it is reasonable to maintain [1] and refrain from interfering with [2] any part of the building within her/his ownership that provides support or shelter to any other part of the building.

S/he will only be expected to continue providing support and shelter if it is reasonable for her/him to do so. In deciding what is reasonable the factors that should be taken into account [3] are the age of the building, its condition and the likely cost of any maintenance

Flat-owners must also refrain from interfering with the natural light enjoyed by any other part of the building. [4]

If s/he fails to fulfil any of the duties listed above, these duties may be enforced by any affected flat-owner. [5] For example, a flat affected by a hole in the roof could obtain a court order forcing the owner of the roof to make repairs.

If a feature provides support or shelter it may form part of scheme property. If this is the case then the owner that carried out the work will be able to recover a share of the cost from other owners. This will be the case even if the other owners are not aware of the work until after its completion. For more information, please see the sections on scheme property and the cost of repairs.

Last updated: 10 February 2020


  • [1]

    s.8(1) Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004

  • [2]

    s.9(1) Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004

  • [3]

    s.8(2) Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004

  • [4]

    s.9(1)(b) Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004

  • [5]

    s.8(3) and s.9(2) Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004