Julianne Gillan’s Story

RESIDENT Julianne Gillan
WARD Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart

The original statutory notice came about after one of my neighbours had a ‘slight leak’ in the roof. I was issued a statutory notice in January 2010 (although I believe I should have received a notification in January 2009) with regards to building repairs for the roof of the buildings 2-4 Moat Drive (which consists of 12 flats).

At this time the cost was quoted as £65,609.64 including administration fees this came to £77,173.34. (£6,431.11 each).

My brother and I acquired two separate quotes from local building companies. The quotes were, at that point, 1/3 of what the council was quoting.

The local companies providing the quotes for us were each given a copy of the statutory notice detailing the required works and physically inspected the roof before hand to provide a realistic and fair quotation. The quotations were considerably less than the Council’s:

  • Buckstone Roofing Ltd: £19,410.00 (ex V.A.T) or £22,806.75 (Inc V.A.T)
  • Compass Roofing Ltd: £29,450 (ex V.A.T) or £34,603.75 (Inc V.A.T)

I then organised a meeting with the rest of the residents to ascertain whether they wished to proceed with one of the companies I had gained a quote from or if they wished to carry on with the Council’s quote. Unfortunately they chose to go ahead with the Council.

The works went ahead (albeit with various problems) but half way through we were issued with an amended quote from the council stating that the works to be carried out had now to be doubled to £138,000. At this stage I felt that I was being held to ransom by the council, this contractor that they had hired could exceed the cost to any figure they chose to and there was nothing I could do.

My brother and I have had various correspondence over the years with various members of the council, MSP Sarah Boyak, Councillor Gordon Buchan, the Edinburgh University Legal Advice Centre and the contracting company Gleeds.

There were a lot of shortfalls with the statutory notice from the offset with regards to project management, scaffolding, access to properties, unnecessary works carried out and the escalating costs. The most recent correspondence that I have received from the council shows that they have gone some way into addressing these issues raised, with an independent assessment being carried out by Deloitte Real Estate, especially with the amended cost which now stands at £73,081.44.

However I feel that they still have not addressed the excessive cost of the works £73,081.44 to fix a roof. I feel this is still too high and overpriced. The local builders that I gained a quote from (even if you added a 10% contingency cost) were still less than half of what the council’s final quote is.

Indeed, the findings of the independent assessment carried out by Deloitte Real Estate has highlighted that Gleeds carried out various works that were outside the scope of the statutory notice totaling £34,216.80.

The original statutory notice was apparently sent out in January 2009 detailing the works that were required and yet Gleeds didn’t undertake ‘a survey’ until August 2009. How could they know what needed to be done at this stage without even viewing the roof?

The original quotation from Gleeds was based on other similar properties within my street and from what they could see from the street, at no time did they physically enter the property to ascertain the damage of the roof that needed repaired. This is highlighted in the email from Gordon Buchan on 9th August 2010. Once again how could they know what needed to be done at this stage without viewing the roof.

The advice from Edinburgh University Legal advice Centre was ‘correspond with the council to try and secure a cheaper quote / a replacement company is used, or pursue litigation against the council’.

This whole process has had a detrimental effect on my health. This has been drawn out for many years. I have suffered from acute anxiety, from the beginning and during the process when the costs kept rising. I have suffered panic attacks as a result of the fear of losing my flat and having an uncertain future.

The outcome that I would like is to pay a fair amount for the costs of the works carried out. An amount that I believe is just and not overpriced. I would be willing to take an average of the 2 quotes I obtained with an additional 10% contingency fee on top and pay the resulting amount.

Julianne Gillan

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