Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011
September 2012 - Property Factors Code of Conduct (Scotland) (Order) 2012
The Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 is now in force, with the Property Factors (Code of Conduct) (Scotland) Order 2012 coming into effect on 1st October 2012. PMAS welcomes the introduction of the Act as this will help maintain standards and deliver greater transparency throughout the industry.
A key component of the the Act is the Homeowner Housing Panel (HoHP). The Act allows homeowners to make an application to the HoHP for a determination as to whether their Property Factor has failed to carry out their factoring duties, or failed to comply with the Code of Conduct. If the Homeowner Housing Committee, which considers the application, considers that the property factor has failed to comply with the Code or failed to carry out their duties, then a Property Factor Enforcement Order must be made requiring the property factor to take such action or make such payment as is considered necessary. Failure to comply with such an Order is a criminal offence. Further details are available here.
In Feb 2009, the OFT report into the property factoring industry, "Property Managers in Scotland - A market study" concluded that; "most people – about 70 per cent – are happy with their property manager". The findings of the OFT confirm our belief that our Members are serving the needs of their clients and the industry well. Nevertheless, there remains strong public appetite for regulation of the industry.
Since the opening of the consultation process for a Property Factors Act, PMAS has worked hard to ensure that their members views were represented at the Scottish Government working party and that we were recognised as a key stakeholder within the private factoring industry. Our key aim was to ensure that the final version of the Code of Conduct was fair, practical and effective for consumers and reputable property management firms. We believe that the new Code of Conduct will ultimately help our members demonstrate the skill, dedication and commitment required in the professional management of common property throughout Scotland.
Notwithstanding the requirements of the Property Factors Code of Conduct, it will still be necessary for PMAS members to observe the PMAS CODE OF PRACTICE.
October 2012 - Homeowner Housing Panel Appoints President
Mrs Aileen Devanny has been appointed the President of the Homeowners Housing Panel (HoHP). Ms Devanny has worked in the public sector in various posts since 1982 and was the Principal Solicitor in the Property and Commercial section in North Lanarkshire Council. She has taken on decision making roles in various tribunals, is a tutor in judicial competencies and has experience as a legal adviser in judicial proceedings. Ms Devanny is also a SACRO accredited trained mediator, a legal member of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland and a legal chairperson of the Scottish Charity Appeal Panel.