A new Code of Conduct for Factors

1 October 2012

Many blocks of flats and housing estates in Scotland organise upkeep of communal areas and sometimes buildings insurance through a factor. From today, these companies will have to abide by a new Code of Conduct (“the Code”) which sets out certain minimum standards of practice.

The Code is one of the key parts of the Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 which came into force earlier this year. As part of their duties, factors must write to all new owners (and existing ones within a prescribed timescale) setting out what the homeowner can expect from them. This will include why they have the authority to act as factors in the first place, the services they provide, and how and what they will charge. They will also have to let homeowners know how they can end their relationship with their factors.

The Code contains requirements about good communication and transparency in terms of what homeowners are being asked to pay for. It also contains rules about debt recovery, insurance and the carrying out of repairs and maintenance.

It is hoped that the increased transparency inherent in the new Code will mean homeowners are in a much better position to hold factors to account and that service levels will improve as a result. If a dispute arises and owners don’t feel factors are sticking to the Code, the Act also provides a dispute resolution mechanism. Factors can be fined for non-compliance with the Code. The Act contains a requirement for all factors to be registered and non-compliance with the Code can be taken into account when deciding whether to allow them to continue to be a registered factor. 

The full text of the Act can be found here with the Code available here in PDF format. If you are having issues with your factor, or indeed if you are a factor, and wish some advice about the new Code, please contact Louise King in our property team on 0141 229 0880 or send Louise an e-mail.


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