Residents across the city stunned by soaring bills

Lorn Macneal drove down his bill after investigating it himself
Lorn Macneal drove down his bill after investigating it himself
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Architect Lorn Macneal is one of the many people who has been shocked after seeing the bills for statutory repair work skyrocket.

Mr Macneal was served with a statutory repair notice from the council to carry out essential repairs to the New Town tenement where he had a flat.

But after carrying out some investigations himself he discovered builders sent to estimate the work were pricing for expensive and unnecessary repairs.

After meeting with the council they agreed to hand back responsibility for the repairs to the owners – who cut the costs of the work from £300,000 to just £40,000.

His story is one that has been found in dozens of cases across the Capital.

Emma Jane Condon was left dumbfounded when a statutory repair to the roof of her Queens Park Avenue tenement tripled from the original estimate to £18,000. She is now taking her case to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

Speaking about the case earlier this year, she said: “It’s one big jobs-for-the-boys situation. The main complaint to the ombudsman runs to 24 pages, but when you add the supporting appendices I’ll be sending a document four inches thick.”

The Evening News also revealed how Bonita Russell was forced to sell the business she ran for more than 20 years after the council bill for fixing her building soared by more than £100,000.

Ms Russell, 52, who owned Bonita’s Cafe in Leith, said she had been left with no other option but to sell up after being hit with a statutory repair notice.

She was one of 18 property owners sharing a bill for £192,000 worth of roof and chimney repairs, which were originally expected to cost just £80,000.