Edinburgh Communal Tenement Repair

We last heard from Fineholm and Geoffrey Mckay in a grumpy blog post from 2018 when I wrote about the incomplete unauthorised repair their had done to our communal tenement.   In the last 12 months we’ve had the exact same issue with the exact same problems.  I got an e-mail last year saying they were doing repairs and we’d be sent the bill.  No indication of what the repairs were or any attempt to follow the correct process of meeting with neighbours and discussing and having a vote to approve.  I asked for more details and eventually got some description but no indication they had been to look at the property or attempted to meet with anyone else.  When I went to look at the property there were still leaks in the roof and more work needing done.  Fortunately a contractor sent by Fineholm turned up at the same time so we could look together along with another owner and discuss.

I did run a vote of owners along with a full description and photos of the works needed and the works were approved and done once lockdown allowed.  In completing the task that Fineholm and Geoffrey Mckay chose not to do I didn’t hear anything from them.  Once the works were done and we’d had a chance to look and everyone had paid up except this owner I did get an e-mail from Geoffrey saying he hadn’t paid me because not everyone had paid him for his unilateral, incomplete, undocumented, unverified works done earlier.  When I said I’d take him to court in a week he left it another week and paid some of the money I was due but not all.

The culture here is self entitled people running a business who do not understand they are running a business and doing a job.  There is no enforcement and no regulation so they know they can get away with just ignoring their neighbours, not communicating, working illegally, not visiting the property and leaving people annoyed and out of pocket.

The solution is simple enough, if landlords (and I’m one of them now) can’t show they have visited their property and had a look around including attic and roof every six months and discussed it with their neighbours they shouldn’t be allowed on the Scottish Landlord Register and they should be blocked from running a business they are incapable of doing.  This goes for agents too, Fineholm shouldn’t be allowed to agent for rented property if they are not able to visit the property and discuss works.   It probably doesn’t need new legislation, just the council to use the powers they have.