Using a property factor or manager
You can hire a property factor or manager to repair and maintain communal areas. They must follow the property factor code of conduct.
If your property factor breaks the rules, you can make a complaint and take legal action against them.
To check if your property is already factored, search on the Property Factor Register.
What property factors do
Property factors are sometimes called property managers. They're hired by homeowners in a block to manage and repair communal areas.
Areas and parts that factors manage can include:
stairs, the stairwell and lifts
the close, entrances and fire escapes
paths and gardens
the roof, gutters and downpipes
external walls and foundations
Groups of homeowners who do their own maintenance and repairs are not classed as factors.
When you must hire a property factor
If your title deeds say you need a factor you must hire one.
In new build homes, the developer may have been able to appoint a property factor for 3 to 5 years after the property was built.
If you bought your home through Right to Buy, the council or housing association may have appointed a property factor. This can be for up to 30 years or until two-thirds of the homes in your block have been sold through the scheme.
Hiring or changing property factors
To hire or change property factor, you and the other owners in your block must make decisions together.
Your title deeds might set out the process. If not, use the tenement management scheme to make a decision.
Normally, your title deeds take priority over the tenement management scheme.
The tenement management scheme overrides your title deeds if:
your deeds have a named property factor
it says that all owners must agree before you can hire or change a property factor
In these cases, if two-thirds of the owners decide to hire or change a factor they can do this.
To stop using a property factor, check the statement of services to see what the process is to remove them.
To find a new property factor, search on the Property Managers Association Scotland website.
Paying for a factor
You must pay your share of:
factor fees - the management fee they charge
extra costs for work your factor arranges
Landlords are responsible for paying fees and costs for the homes they own.
Every owner must pay their share even if they voted against hiring a factor.
If you cannot afford to pay
Your factor must give you a reasonable time to pay and tell you about debt advice services.
Property factor responsibilities
The property factors code of conduct lists your factor's responsibilities. You can read the full code of conduct on gov.scot.
All property factors must be registered on the Scottish Property Factor Register.
It's illegal to work as an unregistered property factor.
Factors must allow homeowners to report when repairs or maintenance are needed.
When doing repairs or maintenance, your factor must consider costs and benefits of more than 1 supplier. They must give you reasons for their decision if you ask for it.
If any work is cancelled, you must be told happens next and what happens to any money collected to pay for the work.
Written statement of services
All factors must give you a simple and transparent written statement of services. It must include details of:
their authority to act on behalf of the homeowners
the services they'll provide
target times for routine and emergency repairs
any services that may lead to extra fees
how much their services cost, including details of how and when you'll be billed
any late payment charges and how to request their debt recovery procedure
their complaints procedure and timeframes for dealing with enquiries
any financial interest they have in your building, for example, if they’re one of the homeowners
how to change or end your property factoring agreement
If there are major changes to the statement of services, an updated version should be sent to you within 3 months.
Making a complaint about your factor
You can make a complaint when your factor breaks the rules of the code of conduct.
If a complaint does not resolve your issue, you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).
Step 1: contact your factor informally
Before making a complaint, discuss the problem with your factor if you can and get any agreement in writing.
This can be a quick and straightforward way to fix issues.
Step 2: make a formal complaint
Your factor must give you a written statement of services that includes information on how to make a complaint.
In your complaint, mention:
what the problem is and how you want it to be fixed
that you want them to confirm a timeframe to solve the problem
that you’ll take further action if your problem is not solved
Step 3: If your problem is still not solved
If complaining does not resolve your issue, the tribunal can order your factor to put things right.
Only apply to the tribunal if you've already made a complaint. If you have not, your application will not be accepted.
Applying to the tribunal
It's free to apply to the tribunal.
Download Form C on the tribunal website.
Download the inclusive provision questionnaire to tell the tribunal about your access needs. For example, if you need an induction loop or an interpreter.
You can send your form and evidence by email or post.
Post: Glasgow Tribunals Centre, 20 York Street, Glasgow, G2 8GT
Last updated: 20 July 2023