We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Section 14 — Access for maintenance purposes

Tenements (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:45 pm on 16th September 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative 3:45 pm, 16th September 2004

Amendment 25 is grouped with amendments 26, 28, 30, 39, 47 and 48.

Photo of Mary Mulligan Mary Mulligan Labour

This group of amendments deals with the installation of new services in tenements. A distinctive feature of tenements is that they have a great deal of common property, such as the common close and the stair. Under the common law, it would not be possible to carry out any alteration or addition to common property without the consent of all the owners. That means that an owner could not install a new service without the consent of all of his or her neighbours. Special legislation is already in place to cover some services such as electricity. Members might recall that in the consultation draft of the bill, there was provision to cover gas pipes and television aerials. We took that out before the introduction of the bill because those matters are reserved, and we hope that provision will soon be made for them at Westminster by a section 104 order under the Scotland Act 1998. However, we think that it is wise to make provision for other devolved services in future.

Amendment 30 proposes that an owner will be able to install services, subject to any of the procedures that can be prescribed by Scottish ministers and as long as the services have been prescribed. Amendments 47 and 48 are technical amendments. Amendment 26 makes it clear that an owner will be able to access another's flat for the purpose of installing service pipes and suchlike. Amendment 39 is a technical amendment and amendments 25 and 28 are consequential on the new definition of management scheme introduced by amendment 33.

I move amendment 25.

Photo of Annabel Goldie Annabel Goldie Conservative

Will the minister clarify a point in relation to amendment 30? I know that the whole spirit of the bill is such that titles deeds should have precedence where they are relevant. Am I correct in interpreting amendment 30 as meaning that its provisions would overrule title deeds?

Photo of Mary Mulligan Mary Mulligan Labour

The member is correct that the spirit behind the legislation seeks to ensure that where title deeds have something to say on an issue, that they will take precedence. However, where there is a gap, the provisions in amendment 30 will fill in that gap.

Amendment 25 agreed to.

Amendment 26 moved—[Mrs Mary Mulligan]—and agreed to.

Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative

Amendment 27 is grouped with amendments 31, 40, 44 and 73 to 77.

Photo of Mary Mulligan Mary Mulligan Labour

This group of amendments is intended to make the provisions relating to the sale of an abandoned tenement building operate more effectively.

Amendments 27 and 31 will ensure that it is possible to get access to an abandoned tenement. That is to avoid a situation in which the sale of an abandoned tenement might be frustrated because of a lack of access, and the building might then become blighted. Amendments 73 and 74 are drafting amendments. Amendment 75 provides a right of appeal to the Court of Session against a sheriff's decision to grant or to refuse to grant the power of sale under the schedule 2 procedure.

Amendment 76 provides not only that the power of sale will be of no effect unless it is registered within 14 days, but that it will not take effect until 42 days after it has been registered. The aim of the amendment is to avoid possible problems if more than one owner is trying to sell an abandoned tenement.

Amendment 77 obliges the person to whom a power of sale is granted to erect a for sale sign at the site of the property when advertising the sale. The sign will give the details of the selling agent.

Amendment 40 makes it clear that any reference to an owner in relation to the power of sale provisions in schedule 2 will be construed as a reference to any person who owns a flat either solely or in common with another.

Amendment 44 is a technical drafting amendment that allows "power of sale order" to be used as shorthand for the procedure under schedule 2.

I move amendment 27.

Amendment 27 agreed to.

Amendment 28 moved—[Mrs Mary Mulligan]—and agreed to.