DESCRIPTIVE RUBRIC

Landlord and tenant – Public sector housing – Tenants rights – right to purchase– dwelling part of fire station – accommodation other than housing accommodation – dwelling within curtilege of fire station – right of access – purposive test of construction – test of geographical layout – functional connection – impression – Scottish secure tenancy – Housing (Scotland) Act 2003, paragraph 9 of Schedule 9

Methven v Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Board
14 March 2008
LTS/TR/2007/10

A tenant applied to buy his dwellinghouse which had been built as part of a fire station complex at Marionville Drive, Edinburgh. The landlords refused on the ground the dwelling was part of the fire station building, or within the curtilage of it. Accordingly the tenancy was not a “Scottish secure tenancy” and the applicant did not qualify for the right to buy. On inspection the Tribunal found that the house was physically part of a larger building and appeared to be part of the same building as the fire station. It could be seen to lie within the fire station site which was comparatively compact.

HELD in the circumstances the house fell to be regarded as part of the fire station and was, in any even, within the curtilege of it. The tenancy was accordingly outwith the definition of a “Scottish secure tenancy” in terms of paragraph 9 of Schedule 9 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 and the tenant had no right to buy.

OBSERVED that the emphasis given in previous decisions to a purposive test of construction may not have given sufficient weight to the purpose of the exceptions.

Authorities

Allison v Tayside Regional Council 1989 SLT (Lands Tr) 65
Assessor for Lothian Region v BP Oil Grangemouth Refinery 1985 SLT 453
Barron v Borders Regional Council 1987 SLT (Lands Tr) 36
Burns v Central Regional Council 1988 SLT (Lands Tr) 46
Dorman v City of Edinburgh Council LTS/TR/2005/9
Fee v East Renfrewshire Council LTS/TR/2004/07
Fisher v Fife Regional Council 1989 SLT (Lands Tr) 26
McTurk v Fife Regional Council 1990 SLT (Lands Tr) 49
Pepper v Hart 1993 A.C. 593
Shipman v Lothian Regional Council 1989 SLT (Lands Tr) 82
Sinclair-Lockhart’s Trustees v Central Land Board 1951 SC 258
Smith v Dundee District Council LTS/TR/2000/18
Waddell v Falkirk Council LTS/TR/1997/16
Walker v Strathclyde Regional Council 1990 SLT (Lands Tr) 17


See full decision:  LTS/TR/2007/10