Residents ponder middle class solution to disgusting problem


THE residents of a block of flats in the heart of Scotland’s capital are working on a very middle class solution to an unspeakably disgusting problem.

The £200,000 flats in Edinburgh are a few minutes’ walk from Princes Street and enjoy beautiful views of New Town and the iconic Calton Hill.

But the pleasures of city centre living have recently been marred by homeless people using the building’s common stair as a toilet.

One person suggested a 'fecal matter' rota
One person suggested a ‘fecal matter’ rota

On at least three occasions in recent weeks, the culprits have used the “service” button intended for posties to let themselves in.

Rather than pester the police, install CCTV or mount vigilante patrols, the appalled residents have responded with a plethora of hand-written notes debating what to do.

One even suggests setting up a “faeces rota” to deal with the problem.

Residents have been plagued with the problem since the beginning of January – but the latest unwelcome batch appeared on Monday.

Where the incident took place
Where the incident took place

By Wednesday a number of notes from concerned residents had appeared on the front door – politely discussing the best course of action to take.

The first anonymous note reads: “Could whoever is letting their dog s*** in the stairway please clean it up immediately!

“I can’t begin to describe how disgusting, unhygienic and disrespectful it is.”

But other residents were quick to correct them in their own note, reading: “It is not dog s***, it is human s***. Probably a homeless person. This is the third time since New Year.”

The flats are a few minute's walk from Princes Street
The flats are a few minute’s walk from Princes Street

Yet more notes have appeared – written on hotel stationery and legal pads.

The most recent note – written on a post-it – dryly asks: “If the problem persists shall we make a fecal matter rota?”

One resident, 64-year-old headteacher Iain McNaughton refers to the problem as “s***gate”.

He said: “It’s permeating the whole building. It follows you in from the landing.”

The selection of notes on the back of the door
The selection of notes on the back of the door

But Mr McNaughton – the author of one of the notes – is having nothing to do with the proposed “faeces rota”.

He said: “Let it be known that I’m not touching it.”

Resident Kirsty Arnott, 26, said: “It’s the most disgusting thing I have ever encountered.”

The mediation officer has even gone as far as borrowing a surgical mask in order to make the dash from her front door to the bottom of the stairwell more bearable.

Another resident – who asked not to be named – added: “Some of us will clean it up eventually – it’s just a matter of who caves first.”

Another resident was not so restrained, texting a flatmate on discovering the latest deposit: “AAARRGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH. WHAT THE ACTUAL F****** F***!!!!!!!”