The Tenement Toolbox

The Tenement Toolbox

On 4th June 2019 the Scottish Government’s Working Group on Tenement Maintenance published their final recommendations for legislation to be introduced over the coming years to tackle the maintenance crisis facing Scotland’s buildings in common ownership. Currently 68% of all dwellings have some disrepair, whilst 50% have disrepair to critical elements. 

One of the primary recommendations of the working group is the introduction of mandatory five-yearly inspection reports to be prepared for properties in common ownership, designed to help owners understand what works are required, what should be prioritised, and how much these works will cost. To comply with the requirements detailed in the findings of the working group inspection reports must be:

  • Completed by a qualified architect or surveyor, conservation accredited where the property is A-listed
  • Structured in accordance with BS7913:2013 – the British Standard Guide to the Conservation of Historic Buildings
  • Include a detailed inspection of the roof, either physically or utilising a drone / cherry picker
  • Provide outline costs for the works required and information on what grants might be available

John Gilbert Architects offer a fixed price service which fulfils these requirements, the Tenement Toolbox. Our fixed price reports are available to owners throughout Scotland interested in understanding the condition of their building and planning for repairs. 

Reports start from just £1500, and are priced on a modular basis allowing owners to choose to bolt-on additional sections to the report dependant on their needs and circumstances. Report elements include: 

  • External ground level survey: A qualified architect experienced in working with tenements will visit the property and carry out a visual inspection, aided by binoculars, of all the exposed sides of the building. 
  • Inspection of internal common areas: A qualified architect experienced in working with tenements will visit the property and inspect the common close and loft (where safe access is available). 
  • Condition report: Following completion of the surveys, a condition report will be prepared that details what works are required to maintain the property. This will include photographs of any issues identified. 
  • Cost report: Using the condition report (and drawings if included), a qualified quantity surveyor will prepare an itemised list of costs linked to the repair and maintenance work identified in the condition report. 
  • Detailed roof survey (drone / cherry picker / photo mast): Using either a cherry picker, drone or photo mast (dependent on the location and accessibility of your property) a detailed roof survey will be carried out. From this we will be able to more clearly identify potential issues with the roof that might not be visible from the street. 
  • Elevations and Roof Plan: Following the survey we’ll prepare an outline roof plan and elevations. We’ll use these to more accurately cost the repairs required, and they can be used by the owners as the foundation for commissioning minor repair works. 

Our report will conform to the British Standard (BS 7913) for the Conservation of Historic Buildings, this defines the structure of the report and the way that we categorise any repairs which are required. We’ll describe the condition of each of the elements of your building: roofs, chimneys, walls etc and any repairs required. We’ll categorise these repairs into either Immediate (now), Urgent (in the next 18 months), Necessary (in the next 5 years) and Desirable (when possible). Each of these repairs will be costed, and the total amount of each category of repair will be provided, leaving you with a comprehensive understanding of the condition of your building and the information required to agree a repair and maintenance strategy with your fellow owners.

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