Factoring in Scotland
Information on our property factoring service.
In Scotland, property factors manage and maintain the common parts of property or land owned by more than one homeowner. It could include stairways, hallways and roofs of a tenement flat, or the common gardens or amenity areas in estates. Property factors may be a private business, local authority, or registered social landlord like us.
In Scotland we operate as Home Scotland Limited and we’re a registered property factor (PF000277) providing services to homeowners who form part of mixed tenure blocks or developments. Which means we abide to the Code of Conduct for Property Factors.
Here are some of the questions we’re regularly asked, but you should refer to the Written Statement of Service and your statements for the information specific to the factoring service we provide to you.
Our factoring service
What services do you provide?
Our factoring service
You can find the services we provide homeowners in our Written Statement of Service which tells you what services you pay for with our management fees. You’ll also have lots of information in the schedules that are specific to you and where you live which you’ll receive with your Written Statement of Service. These will tell you what our responsibilities are around services such as garden maintenance, cleaning, buildings insurance, how we apportion maintenance and repair costs and payment frequency.
What are the advantages of having a property factor?
There are a number of blocks in Scotland where owners have chosen to manage the common parts themselves by organising for repairs or maintenance work to be complete. This is called ‘self-factoring’. However, there are many occasions where this is not possible and this might be because:
- One of the owners is absent and can’t be contacted
- Any of the other owners may not be as equally committed to self-factoring
- the Deed of Conditions stipulate that a factor must be in place
Whatever the reason, factors can be employed to manage the common parts on behalf of all owners and can take this burden away. A factor can:
- Act as a single point of contact for reporting any repairs or maintenance
- Implement and manage any contracts for things like gardening or cleaning
- Carry out routine inspections of the common parts
- Arrange payment for any shared utilities such as electricity in common stairwells
- Arrange common buildings insurance
- Apportion any costs incurred in accordance with shares stipulated within any Deed of Conditions
- Recover any costs
- Manage any sinking/building funds on behalf of the block
- Manage any larger projects for such things like installing/replacing secure entry systems, or replacing roofs
How do I make a complaint?
We want to know what’s going well, but also what we could be doing better. If you’re not happy with the service we’re providing please let us know. If you want to raise a complaint then visit our compliments and complaints page.
Payments and fees
How do I make a payment?
What does my invoice include?
Check your schedules to see how frequently you’re invoiced, but it will be either quarterly or annually. The charges on your invoice are an estimate based on the cost of delivering services in the previous year, taking into account any under or over spending. You’ll also get a statement detailing all the works carried out in the previous 12 months.
I’m struggling to pay. What should I do?
What do the management fees cover?
All owners are charged a management fee to cover the cost of our services. Management fees cover the cost of:
- Service set up and on-going administration
- Title research and preparation of any grounds maintenance plans
- Calculating owners shares
- Communication with and between owners and external agencies/ providers
- Maintaining accurate property repairs records
- Issuing invoices
- Recording payments made and received and recovering charges in relation to each property/owner
- Taking details of repairs
- Instructing contractors to carry out works and co-ordinating these
- Consulting owners in respect of repairs costs in excess of £300 or more per owner
- Tendering and obtaining estimates
- Overseeing repairs and ensuring works are carried out satisfactorily
Do you review your management fees?
Every year we review our management fees to make sure we can still provide a high quality service. If there’s a change we’ll let you know no later than 27th February with the new fees being applied from 1st April.
What happens if factoring fees aren't paid?
If factoring payments aren’t paid, we can place a notice of potential liability on the property. This means the property can’t be sold until any repayment debt is paid. This is a process that goes through the courts and would affect a customer’s credit rating. It’s a timely, costly and emotional process so not something we like to do but sometimes it’s a last resort for us.
If you’re struggling with any of your Home Group payments, call us on 0345 141 4663 as soon as possible.
Repairs and maintenance
How do I report a repair?
How long will it take you to carry out a repair?
If you have an emergency repairs then you can contact us about 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An emergency repair is something that, if left, would seriously affect the property structure, security or constitute a danger to health and safety.
We aim to attend emergency repairs within six hours of your raising it with us.
Repairs that aren’t an emergency will be carried out within 14 calendar days of you raising it.
Sometimes we need to order parts or the work may be complicated which means it’ll take longer to complete. If that looks likely then we’ll keep you up to date.
What are you responsible for maintaining?
There are three main types of repair and maintenance work that we carry out to the common areas of the blocks we factor:
- Reactive maintenance. These are general day-to-day repairs like repairing doors or replacing lights.
- Planned and cyclical maintenance. These are more major plans that keep things ship-shaped, like replacing windows or exterior painting
- Emergencies. These are things that present immediate risks to your safety, security or health (for example, flooding or loss of heating in winter).
We will make an annual visit to check the general condition of the block and/or development and take note of any repairs required but you can also report a repair to us. Remember to use your block address rather than your flat address when reporting a repair.
How are repairs and maintenance paid for?
You are responsible, along with the other owners in the block or development, for a share of the costs of the maintenance and repairs carried out to the common parts or common areas and also for any charges for outgoings for water, electricity, fuel, telephone and other utilities payable in respect of the said common parts. Your share is charged in accordance with your Title Deeds or the tenement management scheme provisions of the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004, or on some other equitable basis. Check the Written Statement of Service and your accompanying schedules for full details of how costs are apportioned to you.
Will you let me know about my contribution to any works before it’s carried out?
We can instruct and carry out repairs and maintenance up to the amount set out in your title deeds (or any other sum agreed with a majority of owners of your block or development). This is called delegated authority.
If it looks like the cost of the works could go over the amount set out in your title deeds then we’ll only go ahead once it’s been approved by a simple majority of owners in a vote. If the work is an emergency or necessary under health and safety grounds, we might need to carry out it out without taking a vote.
If it falls outside of our level of delegated authority, or if we agree to carry out services or works outside of our core services, we may ask you to pay your share before the works start. We’ll send you a proposal before any work takes place letting you know any charges and payment terms before we begin.
Do I need to pay for buildings insurance?
If you live in a flat or maisonette, we are responsible for insuring the whole building and any common parts are adequately insured at all times, including all necessary Public Liability Insurance. We will therefore automatically arrange this for you.
You can find details about your insurance provider, how the premium is calculated, and any excesses or charges in your Written Statement of Services. You can get in touch with us if you want a copy of the full insurance policy.
Can I arrange my own buildings insurance?
If you want to opt out of the block insurance policy maintained by us and arrange cover for your own property yourself, you must notify us within 14 days of being enrolled into the block insurance policy and provide us with evidence of alternative adequate insurance, together with evidence this insurance is being maintained. In these instances, we will apply an annual charge of £10 to your account for administrating and monitoring this.
Your insurance must cover a share of the common parts of the building/development of which your property forms a part. In instances where you have arranged insurance cover for your own property, we must ensure that your cover remains in place at all times. It is your responsibility to provide us with evidence of this on an annual basis.
If you fail to provide sufficient evidence to us in a timely manner we will insure your property on your behalf and the whole annual fee will be applied to your account. Shared owners cannot opt out of home block insurance. Where your property does not form part of a tenement or block of flats, you will be required to arrange your own building insurance.
How do I make a claim on the buildings insurance?
We don’t submit claims on your behalf so we’ll provide you with the insurer’s contact so you can go ahead and make your own claim.
Do I need to arrange my own contents insurance?
Yes, if you want contents insurance remember you’ll need to organise this yourself as it’s not part of our service.
Selling your home
Do I need to let you know if I’m selling my property?
Yes, let us know within 14 days of the date of entry (that’s the date your buyer pays and collects the keys). This lets us close your account and get in touch with the new owners.
We can then apportion any outstanding shared charges and send you a final bill, or arrange a refund to be issued. This can take up to seven days.
As charges are based on an estimate, it’s this charge that will be apportioned. A full reconciliation will be carried out at the end of the financial year and then any surplus or deficit identified will be applied to the new owner’s account at that time.
If there is any credit held on your account, this will be repaid to you within 60 days of the sale of your property.
New owners will be contacted and provided with a copy of their Written Statement, and will be liable to contribute to their share of costs.
If you’re selling your home there’s a £20 fee to cover administration costs. If you don’t let us know within 14 days, or you require a quicker response, there’s an additional £20 fee.
- Homeowners home
- Make a payment
- Buying more shares in your home
- Selling your shared ownership home
- Selling back shares in your home
- Selling your discount for sale home
- Documents required when selling your home
- Leasehold retirement information
- Homeowner service charges
- Insuring your home
- EWS1 form
- Anti-social behaviour
- Repairs information for homeowners