Owner damaging foundations of tenement

KayG Posts: 12 Forumite

Water has been leaking from an outside pipe in our sandstone tenement for two years. It leaks into an outside basement space, where it doesn't drain. Hence, it has progressively worked its way into the building, so that the stairwell is constantly damp. The floor throughout the foot of the stairwell is now swelling and cracking.

I don't even know who the owner is, because the pipework is intricate, though some think it is an unoccupied shop round the corner, not directly above the pipe.

I've contacted the council, my MP and MSP repeatedly since the winter before last. I know the council is overwhelmed with the statutory notice fraud, but all they need to do is to lean on the owner to make a simple repair!

Any advice on what I should do now? I'm thinking it is worth paying a lawyer to write to the council. Is there anything else I should do first?

The other owners unfortunately are absentee landlords. The majority are quite pleasant and mostly pay bills, but anything proactive is up to me.

Any suggestions anyone has will be most gratefully accepted.


  • deedee71
    deedee71 Posts: 918
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    I take it you're in Edinburgh? Have you tried emailling [EMAIL="homeworks@edinburgh.gov.uk"][email protected][/EMAIL] for help and advice?
  • KayG
    KayG Posts: 12 Forumite
    I hadn't thought of them, thanks. So I've done a quick Google on them and I see there is a procedure for "reporting a dangerous building". I'm getting photos printed of the cracking anyway, so I'll send those to Property Conservation.

    I suspect hell will freeze over before they do anything, but it's good to have something new to try. And it all helps should I have to sue them one day when the place falls down. Cheers, DeeDee!
  • I had a problem years ago with a leaky roof in a tenement and contacted the environmental health and they managed to get it repaired. Used the excuse that the damp was affecting my health.
  • KayG
    KayG Posts: 12 Forumite
    Good idea, thanks - maybe I should think how to word it like that.
  • kayl
    kayl Posts: 474 Forumite
    Edinburgh Council is one of the few in Scotland who will very quickly serve notices on owners requiring works on a building to be dealt with, failing which the Council wil step in and do it themselves, and bill the owner. The notices shown up when the searches are done in the sale of a property, and so the Council know that they will recover the money then
  • KayG
    KayG Posts: 12 Forumite
    Ah, unfortunately Edinburgh Council used to be like that. But I've been trying one department after another for two years (although not yet Homeworks). I'm now sending the "dangerous building" section a set of photos. Will see if it does any good.
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