Advice and grant support for private homeowners

Private homeowners are responsible for maintaining and repairing their homes but we can offer advice and (in some circumstances) financial support.


Update

A budget to support the Below Tolerable Standard Grant Scheme for 2022/23 has now been put in place and we will be in touch with those on the waiting list to arrange visits as soon as possible.

If you have a new enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact us for guidance/advice regarding your property defect.


Scheme of Assistance

Our Scheme of Assistance sets out how we provide advice and assistance to help homeowners improve the quality of private housing in Dumfries and Galloway:

Below Tolerable Standards (BTS) private properties

We can provide advice and assistance if you own your house or are a private landlord and it falls below the tolerable standard.

To meet the tolerable standard a property must meet the following criteria:

  • The main fabric of the property is structurally stable.
  • There is an adequate supply of wholesome water and if there is a sink with a satisfactory supply of hot and cold water.
  • The property has toilet facilities available for the exclusive use of the occupants of the house.
  • The property is substantially free from rising or penetrating damp.
  • The property has a fixed bath or shower and a wash hand basin, suitably located within the house and each has a satisfactory supply of hot and cold water.
  • The property has an effective system for the drainage and disposal of foul and surface water.
  • The electric supply meets safety regulations
  • The property is insulated well enough
  • There is suitable ventilation, natural and artificial light, and heating
  • It has a proper entrance
  • In cases of major works being required to meet the tolerable standard, such as roof replacement or structural remediation, assistance would also be provided to install smoke and heat alarms where required. Where technically feasible, the objective would be to support the addition of hard wired alarms.

The law on fire alarms changed February 2022 which means all Scottish homes need to have interlinked alarms. Interlinked means if one goes off, they all go off, so you will always hear an alarm wherever you are in your home.

The new law has come about because of the Grenfell fire in London in 2017, and it applies to all Scottish homes.

It is the property owner's responsibility for meeting the new standard.

By February 2022 every home must have:

  • one smoke alarm in the living room or the room you use most
  • one smoke alarm in every hallway or landing
  • one heat alarm in the kitchen

All smoke and heat alarms should be mounted on the ceiling and be interlinked.

If you have a carbon-fuelled appliance - like a  boiler, fire, heater or flue - in any room, you must also have a carbon monoxide detector in that room, but this does not need to be linked to the fire alarms.

You can use either sealed battery alarms or mains-wired alarms.

Both types of alarm are interlinked by radio frequency and do not need WiFi.

For more information, please visit Fire and smoke alarms: changes to the law - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Contact us

Call 030 33 33 3000 to discuss your property and we'll take your details.

We may then visit the property to assess whether or not it falls below the tolerable standard.  The assessment of the tolerable standard can only be carried out by a relevant Council Officer. 

In most circumstances, a 50% grant will be made available to eligible properties with maximum award of £5,000.  Further assistance may be available for those in receipt of Council Tax Reduction, see link for further information click here.

The Below Tolerable Standard Housing Grant Scheme cannot support any enquiry if works have started or have been completed.

Energy Efficiency

The Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland: Area Based Scheme delivers solid wall insulation to properties of a suitable construction type. The project assists property owners, as well as people living in the private rented sector, and has the following objectives:

  • To reduce fuel poverty
  • To reduce carbon emissions
  • To attract Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) funding

Dumfries and Galloway Council has made a statement of intent in relation to accessing ECO funding through 'Flexible Eligibility'.

To find out more on this and other energy efficiency information please call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282.

Grants for lead pipe replacement

Call Scottish Water on freephone 0800 0778 778 if you believe there is lead present in your mains water supply. They can take a sample of water from your property to test and will inform you of the results.

Maintaining your property

We offer advice on maintaining your property and keeping it in good repair.

Page last updated: 07/07/2022
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