Promoting Building MOTs
A large proportion of Scotland’s homes, particularly in cities, are flats. Most modern flats have management companies and owners are obliged to pay a maintenance charge to cover the cost of the upkeep of common areas. However, traditional tenement buildings often do not have a management company or factor, and unless there is an active owners’ association, it can be difficult to arrange for repairs to common areas to be undertaken.
The responsibility for mutual repairs in tenement properties lies squarely with the owners. A majority of owners simply ignore any problems, particularly if they do not affect their flat. A small minority try to get things done, and an even smaller minority thwart this by refusing to consider paying for mutual repairs. They will argue that proposed works are unnecessary.
One way of establishing what work is required, and what the priorities should be, is to have a building condition survey undertaken. This can be likened to a car’s MOT – it tests the condition of the building and flags up work needing done to keep the building safe. In most cases, it can be undertaken for around the cost per flat of a car’s annual service and MOT, certainly less than the cost of running a car for a year. Given that the flat is an appreciating asset, unlike a car, this is surely something to be recommended!
Edinburgh Stair Management helps tenement owners to undertake mutual repairs while ensuring that the owners keep complete control of expenditure and work. Last year, working with architects Slorach Wood and Surveyors David Adamson, we offered a free Building Condition Survey to one owner who had been in touch with us expressing interest in our services. The survey was carried out in September 2015 in the New Town and the coordinating owner, Desmond Maxwell, is delighted with the report’s attention to detail. He said:
“The architect carrying out the survey visited our tenement a number of times, making copious notes and taking numerous photographs on each occasion. As a result the report which followed both described and pictured all the defects found and made specific recommendations for appropriate remedial action in each and every case.
All in all a painstaking piece of work and quite beyond any other survey I’ve seen or experienced.”
If you would like further details about the services offered by Edinburgh Stair Management, please contact us through edinburghstairs.org.uk or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.