Survey First: The Smart Approach to Tenement Repairs



Survey First: The Smart Approach to Tenement Repairs
Property ownership in Scotland, involves collective responsibility for maintaining and repairing shared elements like roofs, stairwells, and external walls. Undertaking such shared repairs can be a complex and expensive endeavour. Therefore, if you and your fellow neighbours are unsure about which repairs should be sorted out first, it is advisable to start with a comprehensive survey of your tenement. In this article, we will explore the reasons why starting with a survey should be your first step before starting any common repairs at your tenement.

1. Discover the Full Extent of Maintenance Requirements

Starting with a survey offers the distinct advantage of providing a comprehensive understanding of your tenement’s condition. A professional surveyor can assess all aspects, from structural integrity to drainage and roofing issues, pinpointing potential issues that may require attention in the future. This thorough examination ensures that no concealed problems are overlooked, offering a clear plan for maintenance.

2. Prioritise Urgent Repairs

A survey allows you to determine repair priorities based on urgency. Not all issues within your tenement require immediate attention. Some repairs may be more critical than others, and a survey can help distinguish between essential and non-essential repairs. By addressing urgent repairs first, you can prevent further damage and potentially reduce overall repair costs in the long term.

3. Avoid Unforeseen Expenses and Budget Effectively

Shared repairs can be financially challenging, especially if unexpected issues surface during the process. A survey helps you anticipate potential costs and plan your budget accordingly. By having a clear understanding of the necessary repairs, you can set aside funds or seek financial assistance well in advance, steering clear of financial surprises.

4. Facilitate Informed Decision-Making

A survey provides you with valuable information to make informed decisions regarding your tenement’s maintenance and repair needs. It allows you to engage all other property owners in the decision-making process. With shared information, you can collaborate effectively and reach a consensus on the best course of action.

5. Fulfil Legal Requirements

In certain instances, local authorities may issue repair notices if they believe a property poses a risk to health and safety. A survey can help you proactively address issues and prevent the need for such notices, ensuring you comply with legal obligations. Read more about the legal aspects of shared repairs here.

6. Avoid Disputes

Shared repairs can sometimes lead to disputes among property owners. Conducting a survey furnishes objective data that can help mitigate disputes by providing a clear foundation for decisions.

7. Start using Novoville Shared Repairs

Conducting a survey at your property is a good way to introduce the Novoville Share Repairs app to the other owners in your tenement. This way, you can gather two or three quotes from different surveyors to conduct surveys, have a vote and share the cost of the survey with all of the owners.

Looking for a surveyor to conduct a survey? Click here to find a RICS-regulated surveyor.

What to do next?

1. If you don't have the Novoville app, start by downloading it here
2. Register in the app and set up your tenement
3. Create a new “repair” job for the survey

Once this is done, one of our team members will reach out with your needed next steps.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at We’re here to help.

Related Articles:
Emergency Repairs on the Novoville Shared Repairs app
"Missing shares" for common repairs: what can your council do for you?
Landlord Story: managing repairs from a long-distance
Legal Responsibilities and Obligations of Property Owners for Shared Repairs