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Glasgow City Council

What is a Tenement?

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What is it?

This page provides a definition of a tenement and describes the types of properties which are classed as tenements.

Section 26 of the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 defines a tenement as:

"Two or more related but separate flats divided from each other horizontally. The definition is framed broadly in order to include not only traditional tenement properties, but also four-in-a-block houses and larger houses which have been subdivided".

Who is it for?

Owner occupiers and owner landlords in tenements.

Types of properties classed as tenements

Tenements(Scotland) Act 2004 defines a tenement as a building or part of a building which comprises two or more related flats at least two of which:

(a)   are, or are designed to be in separate ownership;
(b)   are divided from each other horizontally

Examples of Tenements:

  • Traditional sandstone tenements of between 2 and 5 storeys in height constructed between 1840 and 1919, found within the inner city.  Many of these tenements include shop units on the ground floor which form part of the whole tenement block
  • Four in a block flatted properties built originally by Glasgow Corporation and some private builders between the first and second world wars. A small number of these have access staircases at the rear or side of the property.
  • Former townhouses comprising 2/3/4/5 storeys built pre 1919 and sub divided into flats and any former commercial buildings/offices more than 1 storey converted into housing.
  • Multi storey and deck access/maisonette blocks mainly in the ownership of Registered Social Landlords operating in the city.
  • Private blocks of flats including new builds with or without lifts of two or more storeys built in the post war period to the present day. Recently constructed blocks of flats are still classified as tenements.

Exceptions and Variations

A large number of tenements in Glasgow have a main door flat on the ground floor which, although separate from the close, is still part of the whole tenement block and so owners of these flats will still be liable for a share of mostof the common property repairs relating to that tenement block regardless of whether they use the common stair or not.

The common areas for which you share responsibility (or are separately liable for) should be set out in your Title Deeds or in other legal documents arising as a result of any sub-division of the property or substantial alterations to the building.

Any changes to the title deeds and share of burdens concerning a property which has been converted from the original structure and purpose should have been lodged with the Register of Scotland Land and Property Registers.

Unless title deeds and burdens have been changed through a legal process, responsibilities for common elements generally rest with all owners or proprietors of individual properties within the converted building. Owners should be aware of their legal obligations.


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