Landlady ordered to rip out 16 uPVC windows

Thursday December 8th 2022


The new uPVC windows on the top floor can be seen in contrast with the first floor windows which still need to be replaced and are clearly in poor condition.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A landlady who replaced 16 ‘deteriorating’ wooden window frames with uPVC to protect her tenants’ ‘health’ has been ordered to rip them out.

The owner of the flats at 130 High Street, Dalkeith, said the decision to replace the windows was necessary “as a matter of urgency” for people living in the homes.

However the property is a Category B listed building and Midlothian planners insist the new windows need to be taken out and replaced with a “like for like” alternative.

In an appeal to Scottish Ministers to keep the new frames, agents for the owner, said the decision to replace the windows was “in the interests of the health of the tenants, and preservation of the building.”

And they insisted she did not realise listed building consent was needed for the action in what was an “honest mistake.”

They said: “The original windows were poorly deteriorated, causing issues with draft-proofing and damp. The windows provided a poor barrier for sound and damp ingress and also performed poorly in terms of thermal efficiency.

“The resulting cost of heating was therefore high in both environmental and financial terms.

“The original windows were beyond repair and not suitable for upgrade to double glazing. It was for this reason a replacement was carried out to create a more habitable environment for the tenants.”

In an enforcement notice issued to the owner Mrs G Silvestri, and her tenants, the council’s planners say: “The features of original windows are an essential part of the character of the windows and buildings.”

The notice requires those served to “remove all uPVC windows of the property and replace them with white painted timber frame, sash and case windows which match the removed timber windows in glazing pattern, profile of frames and astragals and all externally visible parts of the case/frame.”

Appealing against the notice, agents for Mrs Silvestri, submitted pictures showing some of the windows which have not yet been replaced in comparison to those which have.

They say: “It was an honest mistake at the time of installation to not seek prior approval.

“The installed windows achieve a higher performance in comparison to a like-for-like sash and case replacement.

“The works associated with having to replace the new pvc windows and any further works to replace the remaining original windows is a high financial burden on the client at this time. We are seeking an understanding on the situation.”

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