In Scotland, property factors manage and maintain the common parts of property or land owned by more than one homeowner. It could include stairways, hallways and roofs of a tenement flat, or the common gardens or amenity areas in estates. Property factors may be a private business, local authority, or registered social landlord like us.
We operate as Williamsburgh Property Services Limited and we’re a registered property factor providing services to homeowners who form part of mixed tenure blocks or developments. Which means we comply with the Code of Conduct for Property Factors.
Here are some of the questions we’re regularly asked, but you should refer to the Written Statement of Service and your invoices for the information specific to the factoring service we provide to you.
Our factoring service
Our factoring service
You can find details of the factoring services that we provide within our Written Statement of Services. The information will include our Core Services and include; Property Management and Maintenance, Estate Inspections and Management of Common Areas, Instructing Repairs and Buildings Insurance.
There are a number of blocks in Scotland where owners have chosen to manage the common parts themselves by organising for repairs or maintenance work to be complete. This is called ‘self-factoring’. However, there are many occasions where this is not possible and this might be because:
- One of the owners is absent and can’t be contacted
- Any of the other owners may not be as equally committed to self-factoring
- the Deed of Conditions stipulate that a factor must be in place
Whatever the reason, factors can be employed to manage the common parts on behalf of all owners and can take this burden away. A factor can:
- act as a single point of contact for reporting any repairs or maintenance
- implement and manage any contracts for things like gardening or cleaning
- carry out routine inspections of the common parts
- arrange payment for any shared utilities such as electricity in common stairwells
- arrange common buildings insurance
- apportion any costs incurred in accordance with shares stipulated within any Deed of Conditions
- recover any costs
- manage any larger projects for such things like installing/replacing secure entry systems, or replacing roofs
We want to know what’s going well, but also what we could be doing better. If you’re not happy with the service we’re providing please let us know. If you want to raise a complaint then visit our compliments and complaints page.
Payments and fees
- Set up a direct debit
- You can pay any outstanding invoices by calling 0141 847 6386
Your factoring invoice is issued on a quarterly basis, and details actual costs incurred, and then your share of the costs.
If you’re struggling to pay or worried about falling behind in payments then please get in touch with us by calling 0141 847 6386 to make an arrangement to pay your outstanding invoice. We always work with our customers to help them if they have, or risk, falling into arrears.
All owners are charged a management fee to cover the cost of our services. Management fees cover the cost of:
- Service set up and on-going administration
- Title research and preparation of any grounds maintenance plans
- Calculating owners shares
- Communication with and between owners and external agencies/ providers
- Maintaining accurate property repairs records
- Issuing invoices
- Recording payments made and received and recovering charges in relation to each property/owner
- Taking details of repairs
- Instructing contractors to carry out works and co-ordinating these
- Consulting owners in respect of repairs costs in excess of £200 or more per owner
- Tendering and obtaining estimates
- Overseeing repairs and ensuring works are carried out satisfactorily
Every year we review our management fees to make sure we can still provide a high quality service. If there’s a change we’ll let you know no later than 27th February with the new fees being applied from 1st April.
If factoring payments aren’t paid, we can place a notice of potential liability on the property. This means the property can’t be sold until any repayment debt is paid. This is a process that goes through the courts and would affect a customer’s credit rating. It’s a timely, costly and emotional process so not something we like to do but sometimes it’s a last resort for us. Please refer to our WPS Debt Recovery Procedure.
If you’re struggling with any of your payments, please call us as soon as possible.
Repairs and maintenance
You can report a repair online. When you report a repair use your block address rather than your flat address.
If you have an emergency repairs then you can contact us about 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An emergency repair is something that, if left, would seriously affect the property structure, security or constitute a danger to health and safety.
We aim to attend emergency repairs within four hours of your raising it with us.
Repairs that aren’t an emergency will be carried out within 10 calendar days of you raising it.
Sometimes we need to order parts or the work may be complicated which means it’ll take longer to complete. If that looks likely then we’ll keep you up to date.
There are three main types of repair and maintenance work that we carry out to the common areas of the blocks we factor:
- Reactive maintenance. These are general day-to-day repairs like repairing doors or replacing lights.
- Planned and cyclical maintenance. These are more major plans that keep things ship-shaped, like replacing windows or exterior painting
- Emergencies. These are things that present immediate risks to your safety, security or health (for example, flooding or loss of heating in winter).
We will make an annual visit to check the general condition of the block and/or development and take note of any repairs required but you can also report a repair to us. Remember to use your block address rather than your flat address when reporting a repair.
You are responsible, along with the other owners in the block or development, for a share of the costs of the maintenance and repairs carried out to the common parts or common areas and also for any charges for outgoings for water, electricity, fuel, telephone and other utilities payable in respect of the said common parts. Your share is charged in accordance with your Title Deeds or the tenement management scheme provisions of the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004, or on some other equitable basis. Check the Written Statement of Service and your accompanying schedules for full details of how costs are apportioned to you.
We can instruct and carry out repairs and maintenance up to the amount set out in your title deeds (or any other sum agreed with a majority of owners of your block or development). This is called delegated authority.
If it looks like the cost of the works could go over the amount set out in your title deeds then we’ll only go ahead once it’s been approved by a simple majority of owners in a vote. If the work is an emergency or necessary under health and safety grounds, we might need to carry out it out without taking a vote.
If it falls outside of our level of delegated authority, or if we agree to carry out services or works outside of our core services, we may ask you to pay your share before the works start. We’ll send you a proposal before any work takes place letting you know any charges and payment terms before we begin.
It is essential that all buildings are appropriately insured. As such, buildings insurance is automatically arranged for all new owners and charged through their quarterly factoring invoices.
If you wish to arrange your own buildings insurance, you must provide a copy of your policy schedule, in order to allow us to cancel insurance arranged, on your behalf.
We don’t submit claims on your behalf but we’ll provide you with the insurer’s contact so you can go ahead and make your own claim, unless you have yur own independent insurance.
Yes, if you want contents insurance remember you’ll need to organise this yourself as it’s not part of our service.
Selling your home
If you are selling your property, the normal practice is for your solicitor to let us know details of the date of sale and the new owner.
An administration fee is passed on to a seller when the final account is issued. This charge is necessary, due to the demands placed on us by solicitors seeking information, in relation to the ownership of the property, outstanding fees/works, apportionment of costs and details of improvements to the property.