Aberdeen City Council assists private owners with essential housing repairs
Aberdeen City Council is helping property owners make essential repairs to flatted buildings in an initiative that is improving the city’s private housing stock.
The local authority can assist in situations where the majority of owners in a block are trying to complete works but there are a minority of owners who either cannot or will not contribute their share of costs.
Members of the council’s communities, housing and infrastructure committee were given an update on the use of enforcement funding for maintenance of privately-owned buildings during 2014/15 at a meeting last week.
The enforcement funding initiative, which was approved by councillors in August last year, helps owners complete common repairs and maintenance work.
The council can help to convene “stair meetings” with individual owners and also meet the costs of the reluctant owners if necessary to facilitate repairs in common areas such as roofs, gutters and stairwells.
So far, it has committed £522,750, which has enabled works with a value of more than £2.9 million to be carried out.
There is a further £778,850 set aside from the fund to assist the owners of 49 flats and shop units to participate in common repairs, which will have a total value of £2.9m.
In total, the council has earmarked about £1.3m. The upfront funding from the council is repaid by any private owner who has not paid their share.
Aberdeen City Council’s convener of communities housing & infrastructure, Councillor Neil Cooney, said: “It is great to see the success of this initiative in helping to improve poor quality housing in the private sector.
“Property owners, particularly in shared tenement blocks, can often have difficulties in contacting other owners and reaching agreements, so our officers are providing an important service in bringing people together and assisting with repair work.
“It is essential that all owners in a tenement communicate with each other to ensure they maintain the property.
“They have made a significant investment when buying the property, carrying out ongoing maintenance helps protect this investment and the housing stock for the future.”
“Anyone requiring further advice should contact the Private Sector Housing Unit in Marischal College.”