Analysis reveals north-south divide in repair and maintenance of property

NEW analysis has revealed repair and maintenance of public and private housing in Scotland has fallen by £451 million since 1997.

During the same period, the number of homes has increased by 341,650, meaning there has been a real term per property decrease in repair and maintenance work of £313.

Scape Group chief executive Mark Robinson said, “There is a clear connection between the quality of housing and the mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of the people that live there. A home shouldn’t negatively affect your health or hold back your opportunity to succeed in life. We are not doing enough to bring our homes up to a decent standard.

“£755 per property is totally inadequate. A new boiler, either combi, system or heat only, costs between £500 and £2,000, before taking into consideration installation costs. New windows cost from £3,500 to £7,000 on a typical three-bedroom semi and damp proofing internal walls is estimated at £70 per metre or £280 per wall.

“It looks as though this is down to two key factors. First is the growth of the private rented sector in Scotland. Landlords are spending less on their properties than owner-occupiers. Secondly, despite the strides made building more social homes in Scotland, there is not enough funding to repair and maintain existing stock.”

The State of our Estates report from Scape identified that the amount of repair and maintenance work being carried out on all of Britain’s housing stock is falling.

55% of all repair and maintenance work in Britain over the last 20 years took place in London and the south east.

Mark Robinson added, “The north-south divide in the repair and maintenance of property paints a stark picture of housing stock across the country. Last year, 60% of all repair and maintenance work in Britain took place in just four southern regions. Even taking into consideration regional difference in the prices of materials and construction workers, more needs to be done to redress the balance and improve our homes up and down the country.”

Scape Group has now made a series of recommendations, including turning policy initiatives into strategic outputs and greater scrutiny of housing stock in the private rented sector.