According to Malcolm Cannon, CEO of ESPC, the property marketing service for Edinburgh, Lothians and Fife, the failure to deal with running repairs is impacting heavily on the condition of residential homes. He warns that this will be an issue for Edinburgh’s property market if it’s not sorted out as property buyers want homes that need little time and money spent on them.
Partnering with Hypostyle Architects, ESPC is offering advice on how to manage the maintenance needs and find solutions to the brewing crisis by encouraging tenant agreements.
“The bad weather has had its impact on Edinburgh homes – you only have to think about the rain that we’ve had. Water seeping into a basement over a prolonged period of time can lead to dry rot which is hugely pervasive and damaging. But because of a combination of different factors, repairs are not getting organised. Ignoring the problem will just make more expensive in the long run. The repair bill will have to be faced and sooner the better is best advice.”
“With Edinburgh Council no longer issuing statutory notices and organising common repairs to the city’s private homes, homeowners must now arrange repairs and full payment directly with suppliers themselves. This can be fraught with issues when, for example, a tenement block requires a new roof and each of the flats within that block are unaware of their individual liability to pay an equal share of the repair. One flat might be empty, the landlord of another unreachable.
“The danger we now face is an increasing stock of properties in poor condition. Home Reports make any flaws with the property more transparent, which means that when a property is advertised for sale there is no hiding place and these issues have to be accounted for in the price. Often the perceived cost of a repair, what a buyer might discount from their offer, is going to be greater than the actual cost.
“The demand for our recent home maintenance event shows this is an area of concern for owners with over 100 people turning up to hear from a panel of experts.”
Jo Parry of Hypostyle commented:
“Many people don’t appreciate the benefit of early intervention in property maintenance. By proactively tackling a small problem, you can easily stop it from becoming a major issue. The same can be said for setting up communal tenant agreements where everyone with a vested interest in a property’s ongoing maintenance has a clear understanding of their liability should work need to be done to repair the tenement.
“Whether it is individual homeowners, or owners from a communal stair, there is much that can be done by proactively reviewing your property maintenance needs and acting on the repairs and preservation work required.”
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