18th May 2020

Relevant Adjustments to Common Parts Regulations

People with disabilities now have additional rights to make communal areas around their home more accessible, under new regulations passed by the Scottish Parliament on 24 February 2020.

The Relevant Adjustments to Common Parts (Disabled Persons) (Scotland) Regulations 2020, give disabled people the right to remove barriers to access with the support of a simple majority of neighbours. Previously the consent of all owners was required before any accessibility changes to shared areas could be made, meaning that just one person could block the proposals.

The work involved might be the creation of a wheelchair ramp, widening paths and/or doorways or installing handrails in common areas of a building such as a tenement or similar block of flats.

The disabled person must have “an interest” in the property in question meaning he or she must be an owner or a tenant in the property and it must be used as his or her only or main home. The application for consent must be made by the disabled person using the form set out in the regulations and it should be sent to all of the other owners of the relevant common parts within the building. Unless it is agreed otherwise then the disabled person will be responsible for the cost of the adaptations but it is worth bearing in mind that grant funding might be available from the local authority or housing association.

Made under s 37 of the Equality Act 2010, the new regulations also empower disabled people to challenge others from unreasonably withholding consent to make basic adaptations.

The legislation can be found using the following link: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2020/52/regulation/3/made

Katharine Smith, Director
Blackadders LLP




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