The Environmental Protection Unit is responsible for enforcing the provisions of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, dealing with housing defects and the tolerable standard, primarily in private houses.

Tolerable standard

The tolerable standard is a list of minimum requirements a house has to meet in order to be fit for habitation.

A house meets the tolerable standard if it:

  • is structurally stable
  • is substantially free from rising or penetrating damp
  • has satisfactory provision for natural and artificial lighting, for ventilation and for heating
  • has an adequate piped supply of wholesome water available within the house
  • has a sink with a satisfactory supply of both hot and cold water within the house
  • has a water closet available for the exclusive use of the occupants of the house and suitably located within the house
  • has an effective system for the drainage and disposal of foul and surface water
  • has satisfactory facilities for the cooking of food within the house
  • has satisfactory access to all external doors and outbuildings.

The tolerable standard also includes provisions of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 which means a house must also:

  • have satisfactory thermal insulation
  • have an electrical installation that is adequate and safe to use
  • to have a "waterless closet" will also become an acceptable alternative in certain circumstances.

Enforcing the tolerable standard

Where houses are found to be in a poor state or repair or fail to meet the requirements of the tolerable standard, Falkirk Council has the option of serving a Work Notice requiring the work to be carried out, or in extreme cases, to impose a Closing or Demolition Order to prevent the occupation of a property.

Houses in multiple occupation

Development Services is responsible for the licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). Environmental Protection is involved in applying the licensing standards along with other units of the Council and the Fire Service.

Housing Inspection Report for Immigration

Before a visa is granted Falkirk Council must inspect the property which an immigrant intends to occupy to ensure it meets the legal minimum standard and not be overcrowded.

How to apply

To apply for an immigration inspection you can complete the form below and send it to Falkirk Council by email or post:

Immigration Inspection Application 2024


A fee will be payable for a housing inspection and report.

Fee type Cost
Visa Application – Housing Inspection and Report £121.00

Payment methods available are detailed on the Application Form.

Inspection process

You will be contacted to arrange a mutually convenient time for an Environmental Health Officer to visit and inspect the property. The Officer will be available to visit within normal working hours.

You will be asked to show the Officer around the whole property, outlining who occupies the house, and which rooms they sleep in.

During the course of the inspection, the Officer will make a judgment on whether the property is suitable and safe for occupation, and whether it would become statutorily overcrowded by the addition of the person seeking entry to the UK.

You may be asked additional questions if anything is unclear.

When the inspections and investigation is completed, you will be supplied with a letter, usually within 7 days of the inspection.

As applicant, you are then responsible for ensuring the letter is received by the appropriate authority in support of the application for immigration.

Please Note:

  • The Council will not supply letters unless an inspection has been carried out.
  • The Immigration Authorities will not accept letters that are greater than 12 weeks old.
  • If your letter expires, the Council will need to carry out another inspection, incurring another fee.
  • The Council reserves the right to make a charge for the supply of copies of the letter at a later date.

It is therefore very important that you do not request an inspection of your property for immigration purposes until you are ready to submit your full application to the relevant authorities.

If you would like further advice, please contact us.