More informa!on Go to the Scottish Government website for more information on the Act www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/Housing/privateowners/propertyfactors/2011Act And if you need help with any of these issues, please contact us at Govanhill Law Centre. About us Govanhill Law Centre is part of the Govan Law Centre Trust (GLC). We are a free, community controlled, law centre based in the Govanhill area of Glasgow. GLC is a registered Scottish charity, no. SCO30193. We provide legal advice and representation on housing, employment, social security law and education matters for Govanhill residents free at the point of delivery. We opened in November 2008, funded by the Scottish Government’s Equalities Unit, OXFAM, UNISON Scotland, USDAW, and supported by Govanhill Community Development Trust to address unmet legal need in Govanhill, particularly the lack of legal advice and representation for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities, including the Roma community. How to contact us: Govanhill Law Centre Samaritan House, Lower Ground Floor, 79 Coplaw Street, Govanhill, Glasgow, G42 7JG t: 0141 433 2665 e: [email protected] Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 Did you know the legisla!on about Factors in Scotland changed in October 2012? This project is supported by the Esme Fairbairn Foundation Your Rights under the New Act For a long time, the issue of tenement properties and the factoring (managing) of these common buildings has been a problem area. The Scottish Parliament has now passed an Act which means that all property factors must be registered – only “fit and proper” persons will be allowed to register. The Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 came into force on 1st October 2012. The Act is divided into two main parts Part 1 deals with the requirement that property factors must register with the Sco!sh Government Part 2 deals with the crea"on of an independent panel to consider complaints from homeowners In addi"on, there is a Code of Conduct for property factors. This sets out minimum standards of prac"ce for property factors. Registra!on of Property Factors A person who is or intends to be a property factor must apply for entry to the register. Applicants are subject to the fit and proper person test and must follow the Property Factor Code of Conduct. Once a property factor has been placed on the register the registra"on is valid for three years from the date on which the entry is made. A property factor can be removed from the register where they fail to meet any of the requirements for approval of applica"on to the register. Where a property factor fails to register or is removed from the register they are no longer able to recover costs or charges in respect of work instructed or charges incurred. In this situa"on, a homeowner is able to appoint a new property factor. A person who operates as a property factor while unregistered is guilty of a criminal offence. Code of Conduct for Property Factors The new Act also introduces a Code of Conduct with which all registered proper!es’ factors must comply. This Code of conduct deals with seven main areas: Factors must provide a wri"en statement of services for each house-owner Factors must communicate & consult with homeowners before carrying out work and incurring charges for common proper"es Factors must have proper procedures to protect homeowners funds (e.g. floats, deposits etc.) and have a duty to provide a detailed financial breakdown of charges made Factors must have a clear wri$en procedure for debt recovery types of insurance (e.g. for building or contents) for homeowners, must provide certain informa"on Factors must have proper procedures allowing homeowners to no"fy them of ma$ers requiring repair, maintenance or a$en"on Factors must provide homeowners with a copy of their In-house Complaints procedure and explain how homeowners can make an applica"on to the Homeowner Housing Panel (HHP) Factors must have adequate professional indemnity insurance and if arranging Dispute Resolu!on Part Two of the Act establishes the Homeowner Housing Panel (HHP). The homeowner can apply to the HHP for a decision if they think their property factor has failed to carry out their duties or has failed to comply with the property factor Code of Conduct. If you want to make a complaint about your property factor, you should write to the Property Factor initially and explain why you are complaining, providing all the details of your complaint. If your factor refuses to resolve your complaint or delays unreasonably in resolving it, then you can take your complaint to the Homeowner Housing Panel.
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