The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 defines the tolerable standard for Council housing. The tolerable standard is a list of minimum requirements a house has to meet in order to be fit for habitation.
A house meets the tolerable standard if it:
- is structurally stable
- is substantially free from rising or penetrating damp
- has satisfactory provision for natural and artificial lighting, for ventilation and for heating
- has an adequate piped supply of wholesome water available within the house
- has a sink with a satisfactory supply of both hot and cold water within the house
- has a toilet available for the exclusive use of the occupants of the house and suitably located within the house
- has an effective system for the drainage and disposal of foul and surface water
- has satisfactory facilities for the cooking of food within the house
- has satisfactory access to all external doors and outbuildings
The tolerable standard was amended by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 to include the following new requirements:
- have satisfactory thermal insulation
- have an electrical installation that is adequate and safe to use
- to have a waterless closet will become an acceptable alternative in certain circumstances
The pollution control team are responsible for identifying possible problems through housing surveys, and responding to complaints, predominantly from private sector rented properties, and taking action where necessary.
Where houses are found to be in a state of disrepair or fail to meat the tolerable standard, there are a range of possible options for action, such as the threat of formal action, service of notice requiring the implementation of repair or improvement works, or even the imposition of a closing or demolition order on the property to prohibit its occupation.