Portfolio - Case Study 13

Musselburgh/City Centre/Stockbridge, East Lothian & City of Edinburgh Council/Co-Proprietors

Statutory Notice/Essential/Grant Aided Repairs

We have been appointed by a variety of persons and Public Bodies to advise them on the condition of buildings that have deteriorated to a point where either there is water ingress, structural failure or just a catalogue of repairs that relate to the external fabric condition and a continued lack of adequate maintenance over a period of time. We have dealt with many situations over the years from just a few owners to over 20 in any one instance. The first stage in any of these instances is to undertake a survey of the existing fabric and to provide the owners with a report that outlines the main issues and the likely costs of the works involved. Depending upon the legalities we may then be asked to simply obtain competitive tenders for the works.

On occasion where grants are available or there is some intransigence on the part of one or more owners the situation will involve the local Council. This may involve grant applications or the issuing of a Statutory Repairs notice which then forces the owners to collectively undertake the works and in the event that they do not then the Council may step in and undertake the works and recover the cost of doing so. This ultimate sanction is not often the best option as the local authority costs will most likely prove to be every bit as high if not higher than those that would be met had the owners retained their own professional adviser and arranged for the works themselves. Furthermore you are entirely reliant on them to take all the decisions in terms of the timing, the scope of the works and the quality of the repair which you would otherwise retain the prerogative in had you taken control.

Building Surveyors are generally considered to be the most appropriate professional to advise on maintenance and repair works. Following our inspection and reporting on the problems we are able to organise on the owners’ behalf the contract works ensuring skilled tradesmen are employed. In turn we will manage the process throughout on your collective behalf thus reducing the burden on any particular individual and both during and on completion of the works we will ensure that the works are undertaken to the requisite standards compliant with the agreed contract. On completion we will inspect and agree the contractor’s final account ensuring that you only pay for what has been agreed and completed.

Footnote

Of increasing concern, and connected to common repairs are the number of masonry falls being recorded in and around our town centres where the risk to members of the public is considerable! Even if you do not believe anything is seriously wrong it is important that you arrange for regular inspections to be undertaken of the external fabric of your property, this is even more important if you live in a building where much of the exterior is either completely inaccessible or invisible to the eye on a day to day basis as can often occur in city centre sites.