Lands Tribunal for Scotland


Landlord and tenant - Public sector housing - Tenants Rights - Right to purchase - Whether house specially designed or adapted for the disabled - Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, section 61(4)

Forsyth v South Ayrshire Council
18 April 2001

The applicants were tenants of a single storey mid-terraced house situated in a group of some 34 similar houses. The houses were designed for use by the elderly or disabled. Each was provided with a call system by which communication could be made with a centralised monitoring system. The houses were provided with the services of a warden on duty from 8.00am to 3.30pm. They were set at low level and were all on one level. All doors were larger than normal to accommodate wheel-chair use. There were certain other fittings such as handrails and electric sockets at wheel-chair height. The shower was at floor level.

There was evidence of a wide range of facilities normally regarded as desirable for sheltered housing. It was argued that as the present subjects did not have all these facilities they could not be said to be provided with facilities within the meaning of section 61(4)(a).

Held (1) that section 61(4)(a) did not require the house to be provided with all reasonable facilities. It was enough that it was provided with distinctive facilities if these included a call system and the services of a warden; and (2) the fact that the house was part of a group specially designed for the needs of pensioners or disabled persons by virtue of their general design including in particular the large doors was sufficient when taken with the call system and services of a warden to bring the house within the provisions of the Act. The right to buy was accordingly excluded.

Cases referred to:

City of Dundee District Council v Anderson 1994 SLT 46
Crilly v Motherwell District Council 1987 SLT (Lands Tr) 7
Holloran v Dumbarton District Council 1992 SLT (Lands Tr) 1
Houston v East Kilbride Development Corporation (unreported 21 May 1993)
Martin v Motherwell District Council 1991 SLT (Lands Tr) 4
Moonie v City of Dundee District Council 1992 SLT (Lands Tr) 103

See full decision:  LTS/TR/2001/1