Section 17 – Overcrowding statutory notice
28.Section 17 gives a local authority the power to serve an overcrowding statutory notice on the landlord of a house which is overcrowded, where the local authority considers that the overcrowding is having an adverse effect on the health or wellbeing of any person or on the amenity of the house or its locality. This will allow enforcement action to be taken in the worst cases of overcrowding in the sector, where it is creating adverse effects for occupants, neighbours and others in the locality. The notice will set out the steps to be taken by the landlord to rectify the situation (that is, to reduce the occupancy level to the maximum permitted by the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987), the period within which the steps must be taken, and any other conditions considered appropriate by the local authority. Section 17(7) allows the Scottish Ministers to prescribe by order the form of an overcrowding statutory notice and such other information to be included in the notice as they see fit, plus the persons who must be given a copy of the notice. Ministers are required to consult local authorities, representatives of landlords and occupiers, and such others as they consider appropriate, before making an order.