This indicator measures the percentage of historic dwellings classified as having disrepair to critical elements.

Source of Data:

The source is the Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS), which is a National Statistics publication.

It is the largest single housing research project in Scotland, and the only national survey to look at the physical condition of Scotland’s homes as well as the experiences of householders.

The latest SHCS publication can be found at the following link:

This indicator will be next be updated in January 2024 with the results from the 2022 SHCS.


Pre-1919 dwellings refers to any dwelling type built prior to 1919. This includes:

  • Detached;
  • Semi-detached;
  • Terraced;
  • Tenements;
  • Other flats;

The category ‘other flats’ includes houses that have been converted to flats, high rise blocks, and so-called “4-in-a-block” flats. Converted flats are almost exclusively pre-1919 dwellings.

Critical element disrepair refers to disrepair to building elements central to weather-tightness, structural stability and preventing deterioration of the property. These elements are as follows:

  • Roof covering;
  • Roof structure;
  • Chimney stacks;
  • Flashings;
  • Roof gutters and downpipes;
  • External walls – finish;
  • External walls – structure;
  • Access decks and balustrades (common areas – flats only);
  • Foundations;
  • Damp-proof course;
  • External doors and windows (dwelling only);
  • Doors, screens, windows and roof lights (common areas – flats only);
  • Internal walls/partitions;
  • Floor structure;
  • Floor finish;
  • Dry rot/wet rot;

Disrepair to critical elements is recorded where there is any disrepair, no matter how small, to the critical elements of the dwelling.

Whilst the NPF indicator focuses on any disrepair to critical elements, we have improved the presentation of disrepair data in our 2019 SHCS Key Findings report to also provide new analysis on the severity of disrepair to critical elements. This is currently available for 2018 and 2019 but will be backdated for historic years in future publications. It includes the assessment of urgency, where urgent disrepair to critical elements is recorded where immediate repair is required to prevent further deterioration to the building fabric or health and safety risks to occupants. It also includes the assessment of extensiveness, where extensive disrepair to critical elements is damage which covers at least a fifth (20%) or more of the critical element area. For pre-1919 dwellings, 32% had urgent disrepair to critical elements and 2% had extensive disrepair to critical elements in 2019, both of which are similar figures to 2018.

Criteria for Change:

This evaluation is based on: 95% confidence intervals for the data in each year. An overlapping confidence interval suggests that there has been no statistically significant change. Otherwise we view the change as significant.

The proportion in 2019 (71%) is at a similar level to 2018 (73%). The 95% confidence intervals are +/- 4 percentage points for both 2018 and 2019, with sample sizes of 521 and 546 respectively. Therefore performance is maintaining.

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