Tenement maintenance is a subject I have been looking into in detail over recent months. It is a problem that greatly impacts tenement dense areas such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, but also towns like East Kilbride and others across Lanarkshire, which have many tenement properties. The term tenement doesn't refer only to large scale communal dwellings, it can be any set of apartments on more than one storey. My research has shown that local authorities do not have the resources - both people and money - to put maintenance plans in place and fix all structural problems in communal dwellings.
The member's debate - Maintenance of Tenement Communal Property - was a brilliant opportunity to highlight some of these problems. I will provide further analysis of my findings once all responses from local authorities have been received.
In the mean time, please listen to my speech on the subject. Many good points were raise by those taking part. The cross-party working group that has been set up will be able to look into the issue raised during the debate in greater detail.
Thanks to Ben Macpherson for securing this debate. Here is his motion in full:
That the Parliament recognises that a significant proportion of people in Edinburgh and across Scotland live in tenement buildings; believes that the maintenance of communal property, otherwise known as the common parts or “Scheme Property” as defined in the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004, in tenements is essential to the upkeep of the buildings and the standard of living for owner occupiers and tenants; understands with concern that, in many cases, such Scheme Property is in a state of disrepair, degradation or deterioration; believes that current legislation is not consistently fulfilling its intention to encourage owners to establish effective arrangements for managing communal repairs and undertaking maintenance; acknowledges the various potential solutions put forward by groups and individuals in the housing sector to help address this issue, and notes the view that, for the wellbeing of owner occupiers and tenants and to sustain and enhance the country's urban infrastructure and environments, the government should review the situation and consider any legislative changes, new initiatives, enhanced use of existing rules and/or further action by local authorities that could facilitate improved upkeep of Scheme Property.