That is the concern voiced by Niall Cowan, who is one of several property owners in Friars Vennel now expecting to be hit with bills from Dumfries and Galloway Council resulting from urgent repairs.
Anticipating a personal liability of between £8000 and £12,000, Mr Cowan said: “It may well be that property owners just say to the council, ‘Here — just have the property’.
“In which case the council would have to take control or ownership, and I’m damn sure the council do not want to be taking property on.”
Mr Cowan says he is one of seven people who together own the section of terraced property in Friars Vennel.
Last week, Dumfries and Galloway Council agreed to set aside £70,000 to allow work to take place — after a repair order deadline issued to property owners passed on July 24.
Now saying he may have to dispose of the shop premises he rents out, Mr Cowan said: “The return on your investment would diminish, because our properties down here don’t attract high rent.
“If you were looking at a period of maybe five years before you get any rental income back, and then you’ve got ongoing costs in those five years.”
Mr Cowan accepts that the building has deteriorated to the point of needing urgent repairs, with water having leaked down from the roof.
But he said: “The issue we’ve got is that some owners will not come on board with the repairs, and what can one or two people do against the rest?”
Stating he does not even have the addresses of half the other owners, he added: “The council, I believe, should have been more pro-active in getting everybody together saying, ‘This work needs done’.
Mr Cowan has raised questions about the state of other properties in Dumfries — questioning when similar compulsory repair orders will be placed on those owners.
Dumfries and Galloway Council have told Mr Cowan they are still working to establish what the repair will be, and say each owner will only have a cost liability for a proportion of the repairs.