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Regulations Facilitate Adaptations to Common Parts

Regulations Facilitate Adaptations to Common Parts

Historic position

Historically when a disabled proprietor wanted to make an alteration to the common parts of a tenement to allow them to continue to use and enjoy their home by, for example, introducing a stair lift, access ramp or additional handrails by dint of the Common Law they required the consent and agreement of all other owners in the tenement to permit the change.  The introduction of the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 failed to provide a simplified mechanism for approving such improvement or alteration

Difference between a servitude and a wayleave

Difference between a servitude and a wayleave

The key difference is that a wayleave does not have to comply with any strict rules of creation. Wayleaves provide rights similar to those found in servitudes but can be created without the need to identify a benefited property. Wayleaves are binding for a specified period and against successors in title rather than being personal to a grantor.

Reminder of what a servitude is

A servitude is a real right which attaches to land and is independent of ownership. It can only be created over

Repayment Charges for Registered Social Landlords

Repayment Charges for Registered Social Landlords

When proprietors within a tenement instruct a repair by dint of a Scheme Decision made in terms of the Tenement Management Scheme (Schedule 1 to the Tenement (Scotland) Act 2004) any owner in such a tenement can, if they wish, arrange for the repair and then look to the other owners for a contribution to the cost.

In mixed tenure tenements where there are privately owned flats and units let in terms of affordable tenancies (social tenancies) a social landlord might find themselves in such

Beware bills for balcony repairs!

Beware bills for balcony repairs!

Having dealt with a number of queries involving balcony repairs in both tenements and flatted dwelling house complexes, it is useful to learn lessons from the experience of others. The recurring question of ownership was highlighted in a recent case, Speirs Gumley Property Management v- Lafferty.

Factors for a development in Paisley carried out 'necessary repairs' to individual balconies affixed and forming part of a building they managed. The factors billed everyone treating such repairs as 'common repairs'. The Deed of Conditions which appeared

Property Factors Should We Register?

Property Factors Should We Register?

The Property Factors Scotland Act 2011 required all property factors to register on the newly formed Register of Property Factors. Failure to register is a criminal offence punishable by a fine or even imprisonment! Given the sanctions which exist it is important to be clear who is under an obligation to register. This is still proving a challenge for some entities providing property management services to residential schemes.

The legislation provides a definition of a property factor i.e. a person who, in the course of

Occupiers Liability - what level of care is required?

Occupiers Liability - what level of care is required?

The Occupiers Liability (Scotland) Act 1960 has given rise to a raft of case law recently. In essence, it sets out the level of care required to be demonstrated by the legal entity who occupies or controls land or premises to any third party who may access such land or premises. This requires the occupier to assess the dangers which exist given the location of such land or premises and to highlight or mitigate any wants and defects which are present.

The first thing to

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax - Three Year Alert

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax - Three Year Alert

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) replaced Stamp Duty Land Tax on 1st April 2015. As well as being the duty payable on the price or consideration for the purchase of residential and commercial land and properties in Scotland, its introduction affected taxation on the grant of non residential leases.

In circumstances where a return in relation to a lease was made to Revenue Scotland in terms of the LBTT regime, i.e. after 1st April 2015, tenants under those leases require to remember

A new servitude? The servitude of parking...

A new servitude?  The servitude of parking...

Some years ago the House of Lords decided in a case Moncrieff -v- Jamieson that parking could be implied as a right running alongside a servitude right of way. Given this acceptance that parking could be an adjunct to a servitude right of way that seemed to lead on to the possibility that parking could be deemed a servitude in its own right. To legal academics this was the logical conclusion!

The majority of their Lordships when considering the facts in the Moncrieff case thought

Do you know your Knotweed?

Do you know your Knotweed?

In Scotland having Japanese knotweed growing on land belonging to you is not of itself against the law. That said, there is now legislation regarding the spread of Japanese knotweed and requirements on a heritable proprietor not to allow this non-native species to spread. Penalties for ignoring such legislation are significant with fines running into thousands of pounds and with the ultimate sanction of imprisonment.

When considering the sanctions and penalties it is important to note where Japanese knotweed is growing. There is separate legislation

Windows and Skylights - What is part of a roof?

Windows and Skylights - What is part of a roof?

Are Velux windows and skylights part of a roof? We explore the interesting case of Waelde -v- Ulloa and ask the question - what is part of a roof?

The Background

A single dwellinghouse in Edinburgh had been converted into three flats - top, middle and bottom. The skylight and velux windows which had later been introduced served only the top floor flat.

  • The top floor owner carried out roof repairs and sought to claim a share of the maintenance costs from his downstairs neighbours.

Plans and mapping requirements under the 2012 Act - what you need to know?

Plans and mapping requirements under the 2012 Act - what you need to know?

The Scottish Government are anxious to ensure that all Scottish property is mapped on the Land Register as soon as possible. Mapping requirements are at the heart of the 2012 legislation. A cadastral map: a single unified map of all registered property in Scotland based on the ordinance survey map is being prepared. However, accurate plotting is not always straight forward. Old Title Deeds often have inadequate plans and for some the written description makes it difficult to plot the subjects described against physical

Installing Solar panels? What you need to know.

Installing Solar panels? What you need to know.

Solar panels are becoming a more familiar sight across Scotland. Current planning permission regulations exist to make installing solar panels and renewable technologies simple. For most domestic properties formal planning permission is not required if certain criteria are met, namely:

  • Panels don't protrude by more than one metre of the roof edge, any outside wall of the house nor protrudes further than the highest point of the roof (which includes any chimney)
  • The property is not a listed building
  • The property is not in a

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax - Update on Leases

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax -  Update on Leases

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) is a charge on land transactions in Scotland. It is accepted that LBTT will replace Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in Scotland for most land transactions with an effective date of on or after 1 April 2015.

LBTT will make significant changes to the way returns are completed for commercial lease transactions including Assignations (no LBTT is be payable on standard residential leases). New rules regarding notification will be introduced alongside new rates of tax linked more closely to

Minute of Agreement, Joint Property Ownership

Minute of Agreement, Joint Property Ownership

Cohabiting couples who buy a property together need to consider whether having the title in joint names adequately reflects the financial contributions each is making. Should you enter into a minute of agreement when buying a property jointly?

It is often the case that one party commits to paying a greater share of the required deposit than the other, even where subsequent mortgage payments are divided equally between the purchasers. Sometimes a parent or other relative provide a gift or loan to one individual to

Are actions of Division and Sale fair?

Are actions of Division and Sale fair?

Are actions of division and sale fair? If one or more persons have title to a property in Scotland all of them need to consent if there is to be a sale of that property. If the parties cannot agree on a sale or one or more of them simply 'disappears' then Scots law provides a remedy for a co-owner who wants to dispose of their interest. The remedy is an action of Division and Sale. In circumstances where the property cannot be divided, as

Property Factor's written services statement

Property Factor's written services statement

The Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 has shaken up the previously unregulated, and unstructured, property factoring regime in Scotland and has introduced the Property Factor's written services statement. Although the provisions within the Act came into force on 1 October 2012, it seems many organisations and individuals are playing "catch up" with how the changes affect them, including the Property Factor's written services statement.

Written Statement of Services

In addition to the Act itself, property managers must also comply with the Code of Conduct.

Do you need a common insurance policy in Scotland?

Do you need a common insurance policy in Scotland?

Owners have a duty to ensure that their own property and any common parts are adequately insured. The title deeds for your property will state whether or not you are obliged to take out a joint insurance policy with other owners to cover both your own property and/or common areas affecting a larger building. So do you need a common insurance policy in Scotland?

The level of insurance is generally its re-instatement value, namely the cost of re-building your home from scratch. The re-instatement value

Housing Associations: How to follow the Golden Brick Road?

Housing Associations: How to follow the Golden Brick Road?

Golden brick is a familiar term to housing associations in relation to development sites and taxation but how will they follow the golden brick road? So, where Dorothy discovered the Wizard was simply an ordinary man, what will housing associations' discover if they pull back the curtain for golden brick?

What is Golden Brick?

Housing Associations (HAs) are not generally able to recover VAT on rented properties and have limited recovery prospects for shared ownership schemes. As a result they will always seek to

Section 75 agreements & impact on the planning process

Section 75 agreements & impact on the planning process

Section 75 Agreements have been part of the planning process for some time. In recent years their use has increased as a means of addressing issues which may flow from a planning application. The Scottish Government issued guidance setting out Policy Tests which must be met before a Section 75 Agreement is to be used. Section 75 Agreements do not replicate planning conditions, instead they introduce planning obligations.

The Policy Tests are as follows:

  • Should be necessary;
  • Should serve a planning purpose;
  • Should be related

Edinburgh City Council Suspend Statutory Notices

Edinburgh City Council Suspend Statutory Notices

Concerns over tendering for work under the City of Edinburgh Council Statutory Notices Scheme has resulted in an independent investigation being carried out by Deloitte. Until the investigation is complete all non-emergency statutory repair work has been suspended. Only emergency work, or work which has already started, will be dealt with. You can check the Council's website to find out what is categorised as an emergency:

Edinburgh City Council Statutory Repairs

What if a Statutory Notice is in place but the work has not started?

Legal Advice for Japanese Knotweed in Scotland

Legal Advice for Japanese Knotweed in Scotland

Japanese Knotweed is innocuously - even exotically - named but can prove to be a persistent and costly problem if it is found on your land. As an extremely invasive species, Knotweed can take over gardens, as well as potentially damage buildings, if not eradicated properly. Do you need legal advice for Japanese Knotweed in Scotland?

What can you do if Japanese Knotweed is spreading to your property?

Knotweed can also prove to be a significant problem if it is growing on a neighbouring property