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Bill to permit charging orders for buildings action passed

20 June 2014

Legislation to allow local councils to recover debts incurred through enforcement work on dangerous or defective buildings has been passed by the Scottish Parliament.

The Buildings (Recovery of Expenses) (Scotland) Bill provides local authorities with additional powers when taking action under their statutory obligation to deal with dangerous buildings, or their power to act in relation to defective buildings as they see fit.

Authorities can recover any expenses from the building’s owner, but will in future also be able to register a charging order in the appropriate land register, which means that new and former owners will be liable if the property changes ownership.

Minister for Local Government and Planning Derek Mackay said: “When building owners fail to rectify any dangerous or defective problems to their properties, local authorities can carry out the work and then try to recover costs from the building owners. Unfortunately this debt recovery process can be difficult with local authorities struggling to recover expenses and they can left out of pocket.

“This bill will provide local authorities with additional powers for debt recovery that provides them with flexibility and gives them more certainty to recover these expenses. We want to make sure building owners are held accountable for enforcement work in future.”

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