The role of the council in tenement maintenance - how we can help
While the Council is not responsible for maintaining homes (you as owners are) a number of Council Departments can advise and assist you with common repairs and managing tenements.
Argyll and Bute Council, Housing Services can:
- Give advice and assistance on the repairs process.
- Assist owners set up their owners associations.
- Help identify absent owners.
- Help with grant to fund Tenement Condition Surveys.
- As a last resort the Council may serve notices requiring works to be done.
Housing Improvement Officers
Our Housing Improvement Officers are responsible for helping private home owners to keep their homes in good repair. They can steer you towards all the help that is available from the Council, such as the grant towards the cost of a survey. They can also help you establish your Owners Association and provide you with the Council’s help leaflets. They can help you co-ordinate with other council departments such as Environmental Health, Building Services and Planning.
In the very limited number of circumstances in which the council can offer grant assistance or other help our Housing Improvement officers will co-ordinate the whole process.
They can also check to see if houses are up to required standards, help deal with empty properties and liaise with Care and Repair to provide adaptations for older people.
- Housing Improvement Officer – Bute and Cowal, Union Street, Rothesay PA20 0HD Phone: 01700 501332
- Housing Improvement Officer - Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay, Burnet Building, Campbeltown PA28 6ED Phone: 01586 559090
- Housing Improvement Officer – Helensburgh and Lomond, The Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre, East Clyde Street, Helensburgh, G84 7PG Phone: 01436 658867
- Housing Improvement Officer – Oban, Lorn and the Isles, Municipal Buildings, Albany Street, Oban PA34 4AW Phone: 01631 567935
Environmental Health Officers
Can help not just with public health issues such as pigeons but also with anti-social behaviour and noise. Private landlords are responsible for preventing their tenants behaving in an antisocial way in and around their homes. The Council can make the landlord take action.
Planning officers give consent for repairs to listed buildings and those in conservation areas. Large repair schemes, replacing windows, painting schemes etc will very probably need consent. The planning officer will ensure that you are carrying out an appropriate repair. If you are replacing windows in the conservation area, you will be asked to use timber. This is mainly because they are a better long-term investment than uPVC.
While it is the owners’ responsibility to ensure that their building is kept in a good state of repair, Building Standards’ responsibility is to protect the public by dealing with dangerous structures and ensuring buildings are properly constructed. Building Standards staff are always willing to advise owners who are concerned about stopping their building falling into a dangerous condition.
If, as a member of the public, you see anything that causes concern, such as chimneys or stonework that might fall, call Building Standards. They will visit the scene and, if owners are unwilling or unable to deal with the problem fast enough, will make emergency repairs and recover the costs from the owners afterwards.
“Owners now know that we charge them the full cost of any emergency work that we carry out such as emergency repairs and demolition and that we will take legal action to recover costs if needed. Owners may not realise though that, because emergency work carried out by contractors is always more expensive, and because we then have to add admin charges, this is a much more expensive route than arranging for repairs themselves.”
Martin Matheson, Building Standards
Argyll & Bute Council advice leaflets (available from Housing Services)
- Grants for private homes
- Paying for Maintenance and Repair to Private Sector Houses
- A guide to finding a builder and organising works
- A guide setting up and running an Owners Association