This is the responsibility of your solicitor who should provide basic information about factoring arrangements. Your factor will write to you when you move in introducing themselves. The Title Deeds or Deed of Conditions which forms part of your property titles provides for the appointment of managing agents or Factor to manage the common parts.
Factoring charges usually include the costs of servicing, maintaining and repairing the common parts of your building and any associated common land, plus the Management Fee charged by the factor for administration of this. If you have a common buildings insurance policy, your factor may show commission separately for arrangement and/or administration of this policy. If you do have a common buildings insurance policy, you should let your mortgage provider or any other individual insurer, know of this requirement.
The Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 is the legislation that governs factors in Scotland. It obliges factors to register with the Scottish Government and to abide by a Code of Conduct. It also provides a dispute resolution route for homeowners through the Housing and Property Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal for Scotland.
A legal document outlining your own obligations in terms of the title of your property and shared responsibility for the common parts. It may explain the common parts and in what proportion you must pay for any maintenance to them.
In most residential developments, each homeowner is required to contribute a float on taking entry to the property, either as stipulated in the Title Deed or Deed of Condition or as part of your Written Statement of Services. The factor requires this so that he has sufficient capital to instruct and pay for works and services, that are carried out without need of advance funding. These are then invoiced in arrears to their clients. More major works normal require separate advance funding from all homeowners.
There are huge advantages to a common policy, not least an uncomplicated claims process in the event of a major claim.
With only one insurer involved, devastating losses such as fire, storms and serious burst pipes can be dealt with far more expeditiously by a single loss adjuster appointed to manage the entire claim process. This should help ensure that the building is restored as quickly as possible.
Normally only one excess payment applies rather than many individual excesses.
A factor may negotiate a commission commensurate with the work involved in arranging the insurance, notifying claims, liaising with owners and insurers and maintaining compliance with FCA regulations. The amount of commission negotiated must be disclosed.
The vast majority of maintenance contractors employed by Member Firms are entirely separate entities and have no connection to the firm. Your factor will ensure, within their power to do so, that contractors are competent, and that they have the necessary insurance policies in place.
Some companies directly employ, or have subsidiaries employing, contractors. These arrangements must be carried out within Property Factors Act / Code of Conduct requirements.
Some Title Deeds or Deeds of Condition specify that in place of a Float being held by the factor.
Clients must provide an advanced payment invoiced as an advanced charge which is then treated as a payment to account towards expenditure being incurred between accounting periods.
Accounting periods are typically annually or half yearly and specified within the Title. At the end of the invoicing period, the advanced charge and payment thereof is thereafter credited towards the detailed account.
Any credit balance is thereafter offset against the next accounting period with any debit balance accruing falling due for payment.
In terms of the Policy cover, the requirement to pay any excess lies with the claimant, regardless of the nature or cause of the insured incident.
However, in block of flats insurance the claimant is “The Co Owners” and not necessarily any one individual.
Your factor may agree a specific policy with the block Owners in advance of agreeing the management contract, or, have a specific policy on how to treat excesses for the Owners. This can be to charge them as a common expense or as individual charges.
The Deed of Conditions will lay down how different types of decision are to be made.
However, if it was a proper decision made at a quorate (quorum is the stipulated number of owners attending any meeting which makes the meeting valid), within the terms of the Deeds, then you are liable for your share of any agreed expenditure.
Not necessarily. Owners are liable for the costs incurred in managing the common property and in the case of modern developments a Deed of Condition may make provisions that expenses incurred in pursing non-payment of bad debtors can be legitimately recharged to other Owners if the debt is unrecoverable. However you should consult with your title or ask your factor to show evidence that they can do this
Yes, providing it is agreed by the owners and they pass the managing agents vetting criteria for approved contractors. All contractors must hold relevant liability insurance and health and safety policies.