Edinburgh property company ordered to carry out repairs on Gillespie Crescent flat below tolerable standard

Tribunal sets out long list of repairs needed, including stopping water getting in to living room
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A tribunal has ordered an Edinburgh property company to carry out repairs at a city flat which it ruled did not meet tolerable standards.

The flat in Gillespie Crescent, owned by businessman Mark Fortune, was being let as a holiday flat – which gives tenants less protection than normal tenancies – but the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (FST) found that tenants in the property were not there on holiday and the flat was their principal home.

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The tribunal set out a long list of repairs which must be made to the seven-bedroom double upper tenement flat, which is operated by Edinburgh Holiday and Party Lets (EHPL), to bring it up to the required standard. The tribunal formally ruled: “The property is not wind and watertight and in all other respects reasonably fit for human habitation.”

The flat in Gillespie Crescent was found to be below tolerable standard.  Picture: Google StreetviewThe flat in Gillespie Crescent was found to be below tolerable standard.  Picture: Google Streetview
The flat in Gillespie Crescent was found to be below tolerable standard. Picture: Google Streetview

It highlighted the condition of the living room and kitchen windows and said there was water ingress through the roof and living room ceiling with resultant damage to the interior plasterwork. It said: “The property does not meet the tolerable standard in respect of the water ingress to the living room.” The tribunal also noted there was no current electrical installation condition report or gas safety certificate for the property; fire detection alarms were not working; and there was no carbon monoxide monitor.

The tribunal’s findings followed a request by Edinburgh City Council in 2019 for a ruling on the property standards at the flat. The tribunal issued an enforcement order in November 2022, but EHPL applied to the Upper Tribunal for Scotland (UTS) for permission to appeal. The UTS has now refused leave to appeal, which means the enforcement order stands.

The UTS ruling also criticised EHPL for being “deliberately obstructive”. It noted EHPL and Mr Fortune had failed to provide information to the FTS or provided contradictory information. And at one point, during a conference call, one person refused to identify themselves and another person – a Mr Edwards – had been abusive.

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The UTS said it was “surprising” that the proceedings were allowed to last as long as they. And it added: “If a party chooses not instruct a representative or cooperate with the tribunal, the FTS should resist behaviour that unnecessarily prolongs proceedings. If a representative is abusive, then the FTS should consider proceeding to make a decision without the benefit of hearing from that party."

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