Common Repairs

Common repairs are those to parts of the building for which all owners as a group are responsible for maintaining.

To find out exactly what applies in your building, you need to read your Title Deeds. If there are problems with your title deeds you need to refer to the Tenements Act 2004.

Tenements Act and common repairs

The Tenements Act says common repairs include:

  • the ground (solum) on which your building stands (but not always the garden).
  • the foundations.
  • the external walls - but individual owners are responsible for the part of these walls that lies in their flat
  • the roof (including the rafters).
  • other structural parts of the building such as beams, columns and load bearing walls.
  • the close and stairs (when they are not mutual)

In a limited number of circumstances you may be responsible for the maintenance of parts of the building and its surroundings that you do not own, such as the garden or loft.

Legal reference

 Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 Schedule 1 Rule 1.2

Making decisions about common repairs

Decisions about common repairs are made by all or a majority of the owners concerned and costs are shared between all the owners. You must use proper procedures to arrange common repairs or your co-owners may be able to wriggle out of paying.

Making proper decisions

When does a wall stop being common responsibility?

The law says you are responsible for the wall to the midway point.  If the wall in questions is a gable wall between two different buildings, then the owners of the building on each side pay half the cost of repair. These are called mutual repairs.

If the wall in question is partly an external wall and partly an internal wall, then the individual owner should take responsibility for the internal face including the laths or timber frames that hold the plaster or plasterboard.  The stonework that forms the load bearing structure should be paid for as a common repair.