Homeowner faces £37k bill for roof work still unfinished

Aline McMillan's Ashley Terrace property has been left covered in cracks, mould and peeling wallpaper
Aline McMillan's Ashley Terrace property has been left covered in cracks, mould and peeling wallpaper
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A HOMEOWNER has described how the statutory repairs scandal has led to a £37,000 bill for scaffolding surrounding the property where she lives – for the sake of two weeks’ work.

Aline McMillan, who lives on Ashley Terrace in the Shandon area, has endured more than 17 months of “hell” as the council repairs – and subsequent halting of the repairs following the multi-million pound investigation – have left her property covered in large cracks, mould and with water gushing through the walls and ceiling.

Since August 2010 the property has been surrounded by scaffolding, leading to a bill of around £37,000 before a large chunk of the repairs have even started.

It is believed that two building companies carried out around 14 days of work between them, but both firms have gone bust.

The ten residents in the block were expected to pay £13,000 each for the work when the statutory notice was issued, but, like many hundreds of statutory jobs across the Capital, costs have spiralled.

The job, which will include work on the roof, guttering and chimneys, was meant to take 16 weeks, but the ongoing investigation means outstanding repairs and scaffolding could be untouched for months.

Ms McMillan, 64, who lives in a top floor flat, said the situation was “utterly ridiculous” and said the scaffolding, the limited amount of work carried out and the nature of the repairs had “destroyed” her home.

She claims that certain works were unnecessary in the first place and have led to numerous problems with her top-floor flat, including water seeping through the ceilings on to the furniture, mould in the bedroom, cracks in every room and several slates off the roof.

Ms McMillan, who believes the damage has sliced thousands off the value of her home, has compiled a dossier of the extensive damage and has appealed to councillors and MSPs for help.

She said: “I carried out a lot of my own repairs on the stonework, roof and chimey in 2000 because I realised repairs were needed, but in 2007 I was told more work was needed.

“They mended the guttering, which needed to be done, but then they spent three days [in November 2010] stripping the chimneys and ripping tiles off, which I strongly feel was unnecessary. This has left me with a considerable amount of damage.

“The work exposed my property to the weather. Walls, beds and carpets were soaked with rain. You can see the cracks growing on the walls.

“It is a desperate situation and we have no idea when it will be finished. It’s not even so much the huge bill that worries me, it’s the state of my home.

“I have worked all my life, always paid my mortgage, and I am now in this situation. I am not paying for this.” She added: “My partner is a roofer, but he said there was nothing wrong with the chimneys, which have caused the damage. Even our scaffolding company agreed.”

Councillor Andrew Burns, who lives on the same street as Ms McMillan, said he has “deep sympathy” for her, but admitted there was little more that could be done.

He said: “I’m afraid to say it has all got caught up in the statutory repairs investigation. Her case is on the priority list, but there are hundreds on this list. I would certainly hope the final costs can be negotiated because it is not the residents’ fault.”

A council spokesman said: “There are a number of outstanding cases which we are looking to resolve.”