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The Tolerable Standard

What is the Tolerable Standard?

This is the minimum level of repair that a house must meet to be acceptable as living accommodation. It focuses on the condition of the building itself, and does not include decoration or appliances.

The Tolerable Standard applies to all house types, including flats or, apartments.

Properties, not considered as houses, cannot be assessed under the Tolerable Standard conditions. This would include shops, or mobile homes. The Standard applies to all tenures, including houses which are owner-occupied or privately rented.

In Scotland, local authorities have a duty to make sure that all houses in their area - that do not meet the Tolerable Standard - are closed, demolished or brought up to an acceptable standard.

What conditions make up the Tolerable Standard?

A house meets the Tolerable Standard if it:

  • is structurally stable
  • is substantially free of rising or penetrating damp
  • has satisfactory natural and artificial lighting, satisfactory ventilation and heating
  • has satisfactory thermal insulation
  • has an adequate piped supply of clean water available within the house
  • has a sink with a satisfactory supply of both hot and cold water within the house
  • has a toilet available in the house in a suitable place, which is not shared by other households
  • has a fixed bath or shower and a wash-hand basin, each with a satisfactory supply of both hot and cold water and suitably placed within the house
  • has an effective system for draining foul water (including sewage) and rainwater
  • has an electricity supply, and all electrical installations keep to the relevant requirements, and are adequate and safe (installations include wiring and associated parts or fittings, but not equipment and appliances)
  • has satisfactory facilities for cooking food within the house, and
  • has satisfactory access to all outside doors and outbuildings.

To meet the Tolerable Standard, a property must meet all of these conditions. If it fails to meet just one condition, it has failed the Standard.

Does my home fail the Tolerable Standard?

If you believe that your home fails the Tolerable Standard, and you’d like information on how to improve the condition of your property, please contact us.

Home Owners

We can provide advice on ways that you can improve your property so that it meets the minimum Tolerable Standard.


We can provide information on your legal duties and responsibilities relating to the condition of the property.

Private Tenants

We can provide information on your rights relating to repairs, and ways you can help your Landlord to get the repairs done.

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