Scottish Government gets to work on solving communal maintenance problems in tenements
A new cross party led working group formed in the wake of a recent Parliamentary debate on lack of tenement maintenance has called for action to ensure the protection of Scotland’s historic and most common type of residence.
The first meeting of the Working Group on maintenance of Tenement Scheme Property, which includes professionals from various property and legal backgrounds, highlighted the growing concerns over the current condition of tenement properties, which is not restricted only to traditional sandstone buildings. The group is looking for new initiatives and mechanisms for ensuring communal repairs by owners.
Convener of the new group, Ben Macpherson MSP, said:
“This Working Group brings together a range of experts, academics, industry professionals and MSPs from different political parties. Together we will bring forward focused and robust proposals to better enhance and enable the maintenance of tenement communal property. Repairing and maintaining roofs, stairways and other communal property is essential in order to improve and sustain a huge amount of Scotland’s housing stock. We need new emphasis and ideas to help keep our tenements in good condition, and I’m confident that this Working Group will bring forward considered solutions to make a meaningful difference.”
According to the most recent Scottish House Condition Survey 2016 there are 566,000 tenement properties, equating to 23% of the total housing stock in Scotland. Pre-1919 built tenement properties are the second most commonly occupied property type in Scotland (behind post-1982 built detached property); and 5% of all pre-1919 built dwellings have “critical, urgent & extensive disrepair”.
To support the cross party Working Group, Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS) invited stakeholders to submit a synopsis of the issues and solutions they think require parliamentary attention. Six organisations submitted suggestions and Historic Environment Scotland have shared information on the Traditional Building Health Check, a project arising from a previous BEFS campaign on building maintenance, piloted in Stirling.
Hew Edgar, RICS policy manager, said:
“The establishment of this working group is an excellent start to tackling the issue of tenement maintenance. Building maintenance is key to sustaining and future proofing the fabric of our current housing stock – ensuring it provides adequate standards of quality now and for future generations. The deteriorating standard of Scotland’s current tenement housing stock is high on the agenda of stakeholders who operate within the built environment – particularly the historic arena – and it is a great step that all parliamentary parties, are recognising this.”
For many years Hacking and Paterson have been proactively promoting the requirement for better maintenance being involved in various groups, all with the same goal, that of preserving the condition of Scotland’s housing stock.
Hacking and Paterson is delighted that our Managing Director, Mr Neil Watt has been invited to share his extensive knowledge, experience and passion to this cross party working group and hope that we can continue to help and assist our home owning customers across the country in improving the repair and maintenance standards of tenements and blocks of flats throughout the country.
We look ahead with anticipation as to the future developments and improvements hopefully arising from the formation of the working group and any homeowners wishing to find out more about how Hacking and Paterson can assist them with proactive maintenance please contact us here.