Housing legislation places a duty on Clackmannanshire Council to ensure that local housing is in reasonable condition, fit for people to live in comfortably.
When privately owned houses are in need of repair,improvements or adaptations, the Council has a range of assistance available to homeowners and private tenants to help them maintain their homes.
In April, 2010 the Housing (Scotland) Act, 2006 introduced new ways for local authorities to engage with homeowners to help them keep their homes in a good state of repair. The Act introduced a new approach to helping homeowners maintain or adapt their homes through a 'Scheme of Assistance'. The new 'Scheme' replaces the previous Housing Grants system with a broader range of assistance which can be provided to encourage homeowners to meet their responsibility of keeping their home in a good state of repair.
There are 3 main types of assistance available to homeowners & private tenants under the new Scheme:
To help owners pro-actively maintain or adapt their homes, the Council will provide general advice and information on a range of property condition issues and adaptations, including how to raise funds to carry out works.
To help owners to fulfil their repair and maintenance responsibilities, particularly where common ownership presents more complicated issues. This might be, for example, property inspections or details for work specifications.
The Council will make grants available to homeowners and private tenants who meet the criteria for eligible adaptations.
There may also be limited grants to homeowners for some specific works to improve house conditions and energy efficiency, however, due to limited funds these will be prioritised by type of works.
The Private Housing Assistance Scheme aims to encourage you, as a homeowner, to take a positive approach towards your responsibility to properly maintain and repair your home. To help you achieve this, the Scheme has a range of assistance available.
If a repair problem has been identified affecting the common parts of building, such as the roof on a block of flats, you should first attempt to contact the other owners affected. If you share responsibility for the upkeep of the property, you should try to discuss the works with all owners and try to agree how repairs can be carried out.
If you are unsure what repairing responsibility you have for any common areas of a building you should obtain a copy of your title deeds to confirm. You will be able to request a copy of the title deeds for your home from either your solicitor or mortgage provider, there will normally be a charge for this. Clackmannanshire Council does not have copies of title deeds, even if your home is an ex-Council property.
The Private Sector Housing Team can assist you if you require advice on how to arrange or pay for a repair. If agreement cannot be reached with the owners enforcement action may be taken by the Private Sector Housing Team to ensure works are carried out. This will involve all costs spent by the Council being recovered from the owner/s.
There will be times when enforcement action is necessary. In situations where emergency/urgent works are required or where a building needs to be made safe in the interest of the public then the Council needs to be able to take action. Enforcement action can also be used to assist owners in dealing with certain situations where you have been unable to obtain agreement of your neighbours to tackle repair works.
In situations where enforcement becomes the only option, the type and level of action taken by the Council will be determined by how serious the building defect is and by the level of commitment made by the owner/s to address the problem.
Where enforcement action is decided as the most appropriate way to progress, a legal Notice will be served on all owners and affected parties, such as mortgage lenders. The Notice will provide details of the required works and a timescale for getting the work done. All notices can be appealed within 21 days of being served.
If owners do not comply with the Notice, the Council may do the work on their behalf. All costs will be recharged to the owners, this may involve putting a charge onto the title deeds of your home. If this is done the cost will be repaid when you sell your home, if not repaid before this time.
Under One Roof offers impartial advice to owners of flats on their rights and responsibilities, particularly in respect of repairs and maintenance. It covers areas such as organising repairs, working with neighbouring owners and paying for repairs.
Private Sector Housing Coordinator, Housing
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000 Fax: 01259 452400