What does the law say?
THE LAW ON FACTORING
The Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 came into force on 1st October 2012 and is the first parliamentary legislation to regulate property managers, i.e. factors. The Act’s main aim is to create a statutory framework that will give protection for homeowners in Scotland who receive services from factors.
The Act introduced 3 main provisions:-
1) Established a compulsory public register of all property factors.
2) Prepared a Code of Conduct with which property factors must comply, and
3) Set up a disputes procedure for homeowners who feel that their property factor has failed to carry out its duties or to comply with the Code of Conduct.
1) The Public Register
All property factors must apply to the Scottish Ministers for entry onto the register, provide a list of all properties and all common land which they factor and must renew their registration every 3 years. Any factor operating without registration will be committing an offence. Calvay HA is registered and our Property Factor Registered Number is PF000331.
2) The Code of Conduct
This sets out the minimum standards of practice for property factors in Scotland and requires property factors to provide owners with a written statement of all services. This is to ensure that homeowners are protected and clear about the property factors responsibilities and their own responsibilities:-
• how the factor will communicate and consult with owners,
• what owners are paying for and how charges are arrived at,
• what steps the factor will take to recover any debts from owners
• specific obligations in terms of maintaining insurance
• shared responsibilities in regard to carrying out repairs and maintenance, and
• the routes available if the owner wishes to make a complaint.
3) The Disputes Resolution Process
The Act created a new process, to allow a discontented homeowner to apply to an Independent Judicial Body if they feel that their property factor has failed in their duties or failed to comply with the Code of Conduct. This body is the First Tier Tribunal for Scotland, Housing and Property Chamber (known as FTT).
A full copy of Calvay’s Code of Conduct for Factored owners is available here.