Where did Novoville Shared Repairs originate?
An app designed to help tenement flat owners to repair and maintain the common areas of their block has now been introduced in Falkirk.
Novoville is an online mobile application developed by Edinburgh City Council and Novoville as part of the Scottish Government’s CivTech Innovation Programme. The application aims to reduce the difficulties that can be experienced by homeowners when arranging common repairs by guiding them through the whole process.
What does the app do?
The application allows owners to create a virtual tenement, allowing one or all owners to work through the various legislative steps required to arrange a common repair. Owners can create and issue standard letters (electronic or paper), identify and agree to repairs, appoint a contractor, collect payment from other owners, instruct and pay a contractor for work done. The app will link in with the Buy with Confidence scheme, offering protections to residents. The e-account provider, within the app, is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Homeowners who arrange and pay for repairs, through the app, will pay, as a block, a 2% fee on top of the cost of the repair.
This is an enhanced provision for people who do not live in blocks where Falkirk Council is the majority owner, in blocks where Falkirk Council is the majority owner these repairs will continue to be arranged by Housing Services in the usual way.
Success of the app
Novoville has over 1,000 tenements signed up in Scotland, which represents approximately 10,000 individual homes. Falkirk is now the sixth Local Authority to work in close collaboration with Novoville to bring the app to its residents. Where appropriate, the app will help residents access Falkirk Council’s Private Housing services, such as the Private Sector Team, which manages the Scheme of Assistance and Landlord Registration, and the Mixed Tenure Team, where repairs are shared with Falkirk Council owned properties.
This is what everyone had to say
Councillor Gary Bouse, Falkirk Council’s spokesperson for Housing explained: “The app will give users a chance to ensure that everyone pays their share for communal work being carried out in their properties in a safe and easy manner. It can also help build better relationships amongst property owners as they will have a shared interest in maintaining their building.”
Louis Daillencourt, designer and manager of Novoville Shared Repairs, said:
“It is fantastic to have had the chance to work with Falkirk Council, who have been following the progress of our rollout in Scotland closely for some time. There are over 22,000 flats in Falkirk, and even more homes which belong in legal tenements (even if they’re not in a block of flats per se), such as “four-in-a-block”. We are really happy to get the chance to serve the Falkirk residents and give them access to the same tool which has proven its worth in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and other Scottish Cities. We are also looking forward to continuing work with Falkirk Council as they publish their Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy by the end of the year: Novoville Shared Repairs will soon introduce Novoville Shared Works, taking our platform to the next level with a focus on reducing energy bills and decarbonising heat in buildings.”
The app is free to download from both the App Store and Google Play, with a small fee of 2% (plus VAT at time of writing) chargeable upon the completion of a successful repair or maintenance project.