A NEW app that aims to make communal housing repairs easier and faster to arrange has launched in Aberdeen, with the backing of the City Council.
The Novoville Shared Repairs app, which is free to download, is designed to help property owners in tenements and flat blocks connect with other owners in their building, discuss works needed, obtain quotes for repairs and book them, all without having to employ the services of a factor or spend large amounts of time chasing up neighbours.
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The app also includes a built-in payment account that can be opened in hours as opposed to having to wait weeks to open a high street bank account. This account is dedicated to common repairs and is transparent, so all users can see when funds are received and sent onto a repair company.
Aberdeen is now the eighth council to promote the Novoville Shared Repairs app to its residents. Seven other Scottish local authorities including Glasgow and Edinburgh are supporting the app and Novoville already has more than 1,000 tenements signed up in Scotland.
Aberdeen is the second largest Scottish locality for unfactored tenements, with more than 50,000 flats around the city, including 12,000 granite flats alone built in Victorian or Edwardian times.
Repairs arranged via the app since its launch in 2021 have ranged in price from £60 to £190,000. In just over two years it has facilitated more than £1 million worth of repairs since it first became active in Edinburgh.
Councillor Miranda Radley, Convener of the Communities, Housing & Public Protection Committee at Aberdeen City Council, said:
“We are delighted to work with Novoville to introduce a new way to help our residents to repair and maintain their homes. This is a fantastic way to encourage neighbours to come together and manage their block’s needs.”
Louis Daillencourt, Manager of Novoville Shared Repairs, said:
“We are excited to officially launch Shared Repairs for the Aberdeen public. We estimate there are around £115m worth of repairs that need to be arranged in Aberdeen, based on our research and app use in other historic cities across Scotland. That’s a lot of homeowners and renters who need to liaise with their co-residents to get agreement on costs, organise workmen, and ensure payment is made on time by all. Novoville Shared Repairs makes this process so much easier and more streamlined.
“80% of our users download the app because they have an immediate repair need, and more than 83% of them have no maintenance account in place so we really are helping communities resolve their repair issues from scratch.
“Trying to arrange communal repairs can be a headache and is often a source of dispute, frustration, and miscommunication. Property maintenance and repair is so important, and we are excited to launch in Aberdeen and help residents here keep their homes in good condition.”
Novoville’s Shared Repairs app was created through the Scottish Government’s Civtech Accelerator program, which aims to find digital and tech solutions to problems faced by the public and third sectors. The app is on track to be established in ten Scottish local authorities by the end of 2023.
The app can be downloaded from both the App Store and Google Play.