The Tolerable Standard

The Tolerable Standard is defined in Housing Legislation and prescribes a minimum standard a property must meet to be considered suitable for human habitation.   It specifies standards for criteria such as:

  • Structural stability
  • Rising and penetrating dampness
  • Ventilation and heating
  • Natural and artificial lighting
  • Toilet and bath/shower facilities
  • Drainage
  • Hot and cold water provisions
  • Cooking of food
  • Electricity provision
  • Access to external doors and outbuildings

The Scottish Government has confirmed new standards for fire and smoke alarms are being introduced through the implementation of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (Tolerable Standard)(Extension of Criterion) Order 2019.  The new standards are in recognition of the danger fire poses to the occupants of a house and are intended to reduce the risk of loss of life, injuring and damage to property in the event of a fire.

The requirements were due to come into force from February 2021, however the Scottish Government has confirmed the standards will be delayed for a further year. All homes must comply with the legislation by February 2022.  Details of the new standards can be found on the Scottish Government website

In addition, the Association of British Insurers have confirmed that householders could face issues with cover if they do not comply with the forthcoming legislation.  Owners are advised to seek advice from their individual insurance company regarding the terms of their policy.

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