GLM Shared Repairs for Tenement Buildings
What is the GLM Shared Repairs service?
GLM’s Shared Repairs service supports tenemental property owners to protect their assets through cost-effective maintenance and repair advice informed by a survey.
It may be useful to think of Shared Repairs like consulting a GP except that appointments are generally a bit quicker – the Shared Repairs service provides a snapshot of the tenement’s health, which is detailed in a Condition Report. Following this, GLM will provide the necessary prescription. As with health, the service is often called upon when a building has a problem. Common symptoms might include loose masonry, a leaking roof or defective rainwater systems.
At this point timely repair work may avoid further costly damage to the building and its occupants. However, instead of responding to problems after they have occurred, even more can be saved by anticipating them in advance. Reactive maintenance is always more expensive than maintenance that is planned. Health checks, as part of an ongoing maintenance routine, are therefore strongly recommended. Issues identified and fixed by means of a proverbial “stitch in time” will invariably save nine.
In order to be able to give holistic advice, GLM’s Shared Repairs service usually starts with an overall building survey and a detailed condition report with recommendations. We can, of course, address a specific problem on its own, but our preference is to consider the wider picture. This provides a basis for us to support owners and to discuss the most appropriate way forward. If, at this point, the owners decide to appoint GLM on their behalf, the service we would typically provide includes specifying the work, appointing and managing a contractor, and overseeing the works as they are carried out. A Shared Repair case study project is Great Stuart Street, Edinburgh.
After the work is complete we would recommend that there should be an ongoing annual check up, thus maintaining a “Service Record” for the tenement.
What is the Shared Repairs process?
The Shared Repairs process is relatively straight forward as we recognise the need for simple and timely support for owners. The Shared Repairs process entails the following steps:
Step 1 – Making contact with GLM: The common owners should designate one person as the property representative. This person should initiate an enquiry with GLM; this can be done through a phone call or email. GLM will record the enquiry and allocate a member of staff to get back in touch. It should be noted that the property representative will be GLM’s main point of contact throughout the process and GLM will only take instructions from this individual.
Step 2 – Triage: A GLM building surveyor will call you to confirm some details about the property, identify any particular concerns and discuss the Shared Repairs process.
Following this you will be provided with a fee proposal and our “Rules of the Game”, which detail how we will work together.
Step 3 – Assessment & Analysis: Once you have instructed GLM to proceed and paid, we will arrange a suitable date to visit the property and undertake a comprehensive building survey. The findings of the survey will be issued as a report detailing the condition, providing recommendations, prioritising the works required, and providing a cost estimate for repairs.
Step 4 – Review: When the common owners have had time to digest the report, a meeting with the co-owners will be held in person or online. This is an opportunity to ask questions, discuss findings, and devise a strategy to move forward with any recommendations. What’s more, this allows clients to clarify anything they do not understand.
If appointed, GLM will support the repair and maintenance stage by specifying and tendering the works, appointing a contractor following approval by the owners, then administering the contract throughout the works stage.
Why do we have a Shared Repairs service?
In 2013, Edinburgh Council cancelled their Statutory Notice system, meaning owners of flats in tenements had no alternative but to come together and agree among themselves to share the cost of maintenance work or, let the tenemental properties fall into disrepair. A very black and white solution to a not so black and white problem.
In fact, this process can be daunting for many reasons. Many owners do not have experience in maintenance and dealing with contractors. When problems arise this can lead to conflict between flat owners. Neighbours may be absent or difficult to co-ordinate and owners may have different priorities when it comes to making good, defects.
The outcome can be that tenemental properties become more difficult to buy, sell and live in.
We believe that, without a system of support for tenemental repair and maintenance, traditional tenement buildings, and sometimes more modern buildings affected by the same difficulties, will fall into disrepair. Not only are tenements home to thousands of people (40% of the housing of Scotland by some estimates), but they are also a significant part of our heritage and, at a time when more and more people are concerned about climate change, they are significant repositories of carbon. GLM are passionate about ensuring they exist for future generations.
GLM launched a Shared Repairs service to smooth the path for tenemental owners and to help them to ensure that their buildings would not be comprised by disrepair.
Why is GLM the right organisation to help?
GLM is an RICS regulated firm of Chartered Building Surveyors, Architects and Project Managers; with Conservation Accredited Surveyors and Architects. We have over 30 years of experience monitoring and maintaining the condition of traditional and historic buildings.
How do I contact GLM Shared Repairs?
If you live in the Edinburgh or the Central Belt, and wish to engage with our Shared Repairs service, please use the details below:
Telephone: 0131 225 4235
If you email, please put ‘SR Property Address’ in the subject line. In the body of the email please include the tenement address, number of units and a contact telephone number of the chosen property representative.
Other useful resources for the tenemental repair process include Under One Roof and the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust.
Wesley Lyster, David Gibbon, David Johnson, Lilli Marshall