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The Importance of Maintaining Your Property

Published on 07/12/2020

As you may be aware, Glasgow City Council recently carried out Building Inspection Reports on five hundred Tenement Properties built pre 1919.

Glasgow City Council have confirmed to homeowners that the surveys were carried out using drone and thermal imaging technology and that the reports were produced to inform homeowners and property factors of the condition of the buildings surveyed with a view to assisting with future repairs and maintenance.

On the 4th December The Glasgow Evening Times printed an article in relation to the Building Inspection Reports undertaken. The article focused on a letter that John Mason MSP Glasgow Shettleston had written to the newspaper along with responses from several Homeowners in relation to the Inspection Reports. John Mason`s letter confirmed the following;

“This is good news that Glasgow City Council is highlighting that flat owners need to maintain their properties. I myself live in a tenement flat and would dearly love a survey to be carried out with someone else paying.
For too long many of us flat owners have buried our heads in the sand and have tried to pretend we could live in a tenement without maintaining the building. I find it disappointing if some owners do not want to know the truth about their building’s condition.
I fully support the Council’s analysis of the condition of tenements in the city.” Additionally, Mr Mason identified that multiple owners can make it difficult to organise and pay for works when there is no factor confirming that “We must bring Glasgow’s tenements up to standard and ensure that they are well maintained. This is not going to be easy, cheap, or popular but I do hope the council’s survey can help in moving this forward.”

Hacking and Paterson Management Services have long been advocates of regular Building surveys being undertaken on properties with common ownership. Currently however, there is no legislative requirement for homeowners to have such surveys carried out and it is likely that until such legislation comes into force, the tenement housing stock will continue to decline.

Our Chairman Mr Neil Watt – a former President of the Property Managers Association, worked closely with John Mason MSP and other members of the Parliamentary Working Group last year to consider how best to tackle the ongoing decline of the country`s tenement housing stock. The recommendations were subsequently passed to Scottish Government for their consideration. The recommendations and background were summarised in Professor Douglas Robertson`s excellent report “Why Flats Fall Down” – a link to which can be found here; https://www.befs.org.uk/resources/publications/why-flats-fall-down/

Professor Robertson identified that “Flats or apartments, and properties defined legally as ‘tenements’ in Scotland account for 895,000 properties (Scottish Government, 2018d). The Scottish House Condition Survey estimates that tenements alone amount to 584,000 properties, equating to almost a quarter of the countries entire housing stock. Almost a third (29%) of these are the traditional tenements, built before 1919, which equates to 7% of the country’s current housing stock.”

The report also set out a clear recommendation that all properties defined as “tenements” ought to be subject to a five yearly property inspection;

“The Parliamentary Working Group also recommended that all elements of ‘scheme property’, that pertain to all properties defined as ‘tenements’, should be subject to a five-yearly property inspection. They go on to recommend that the prepared report would then be made publicly available to both existing and any prospective owners (RICS, 2019). Further, as a public record, this survey would also be readily accessible to tenants, neighbours and policy-makers. This survey would not only detail the actual condition of each ‘tenement’ building, but also provide an estimate of the expenditure required to address any defects found in order to bring it up to standard, and any recommendations as to what is needs by way of on-going maintenance works. Given the specific nature of these requirements, it goes on to recommend such inspections should only be undertaken by qualified building professionals.”

Your property is likely to be the most valuable asset that you will own in your lifetime. Ensuring that it is well maintained is essential. Please don`t hesitate to contact your Property Manager if you and your neighbours are considering having a Building Survey undertaken at your property.

We are here to assist.

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