Edinburgh City Council launch new app to make repairing shared properties easier
The often lengthy and onerous process of repairing a shared property can now be managed from start to finish by a free-to-use app.
All of the city’s 170,000 tenement flats and other shared buildings are eligible to sign up for this new digital platform.
Born out of the Scottish Government’s CivTech Accelerator programme, the app, called Novoville Shared Repairs, has been developed by the council in partnership with civic engagement platform Novoville.
It aims to improve the condition of property in co-ownership by helping private homeowners carry out the maintenance and repairs of shared areas in their tenement, or housing block.
It has been designed to eliminate much of the friction associated with coming to an agreement amongst owners.
Available on Google Play and the App Store the app allows users to create their ‘virtual tenement’ and report a repair or maintenance issue to fellow proprietors.
Then, app users can hire contractors that are members of Edinburgh’s Trusted Trader scheme. Receiving quotes and recording of votes is also fully supported.
Convener of the Finance and Resources Committee councillor Rob Munn said the app will make it much easier for owners to get together and take responsibility for their buildings.
He said: “A tremendous amount of work has gone into producing this app and it’s fantastic news that it’s now available for people to use.
“There are around 170,000 tenement flats and other shared buildings with multiple owners in Edinburgh and a lot of these buildings are still in need of urgent repair.
“This app will make it much easier for owners to get together and take responsibility for their buildings.”
Novoville Shared Repairs also allows app users to create a dedicated e-money account for their tenement with FCA-regulated partner, Modulr.
It is no longer necessary to create a traditional treasurer account with a bank or building society in order to gather funds and pay them out to the chosen contractor.
Vice Convener of the Finance and Resources Committee, Councillor Joan Griffiths said she is sure there will be national interest in this app.
She said: “As a city we’re already leading the way in this area and our Shared Repairs Team is doing a fantastic job supporting people who live in shared buildings helping them through the steps they need to take to carry out repairs to their properties properly.
“We’re a member of the Parliamentary Working Group looking at the issue nationally and I’m sure there will be interest in the app outside Edinburg as well.”
CEO of Novoville, Fotis Talantzis said his company has a “ton of ideas” and is looking forward to continuing working with the council.
He said: “We are proud to support one of the UK’s greatest architectural assets, the built environment in Edinburgh, with our Shared Repairs app.
“The CivTech programme where it all started was a tremendous experience, and we are very happy that the council has decided to continue to support and fund the project afterwards.
“We have got tons of ideas to take it from there and we’re looking forward to continuing to work with Edinburgh, for Edinburgh and Scotland at large.”