Novoville was selected by the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) to help solve the big challenge of managing the shared areas in privately owned tenements across the city. The initiative was part of the Scottish Government`s CivTech Accelerator programme, which harnesses entrepreneurial tech innovation to solve identified public sector challenges.

A lack of property factoring of historic tenements in Edinburgh has left tenement owners to manage their own common repairs using the process outlined by the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004. Local authorities have no powers under this legislation to compel action and it has been difficult for CEC as a landlord to carry out repairs to its homes in mixed tenure blocks without the agreement of other owners. Furthermore, in their capacity as a local authority, CEC attend to repair issues which carry a Public Health & Safety Risk, as well as enforce common repairs to tenements where owners fail to engage with each other. Therefore, they needed a technology solution that would enable them to manage the complex recurring issue of tenement repairs and help them in their capacities as both a local authority and as a landlord.

Novoville`s new mobile app will encourage, support and enable private tenement flat owners to proactively take responsibility for planning and organising repairs and maintenance. Our goal is to use technology and our experience in civic engagement projects to facilitate this process by creating a digital tenement community, and improve the overall condition of buildings in Edinburgh. The app will be unveiled during CivTech`s Demo Day on 4th March 2020 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.