Frequently Asked Questions

What is a factor?
A factor is a Property Manager who has been appointed to manage the communal areas (areas used by everyone living there) within a close, building or development.  The factor will co-ordinate and arrange repairs, maintenance, improvements etc. to the communal areas on behalf of property owners.  In most cases, the factor will also manage communal block buildings insurance policies.
Why do I have a factor?
There are a number of reasons why a factor is appointed:

  • Often the original Title Deeds or Deeds of Conditions require that a factor is in place to ensure the building is effectively managed and maintained for the long term;

  • A majority of owners in the close or building or development have got together and agreed to appoint a factor;

  • Historically there has always been a factor.

 What are the benefits of having a factor in place?
There are considerable benefits in having a factor in place:

  • Your building will be professionally maintained and, because it is properly cared for, maintenance costs may be lower;

  • Your building will be preserved for the long-term which means that your biggest asset is being protected and not allowed to deteriorate in value;

  • All maintenance and repair work will be competitively procured using qualified and approved contractors to ensure you obtain value for money;

  • Major repairs and works will be professionally managed to ensure a quality job and work that complies with current legislation and importantly that value for money is obtained;

  • Decisions will be reached with owners to ensure necessary repairs are carried out and repairs are not put on hold because of neighbour disputes.

What areas of my close or building are managed by the factor?
All owners will receive a written statement of the service from Maryhill Housing which identifies the factors' areas of responsibility in your close or building.

What is a “float” and will I get it back?
A float is a sum of money paid to the factor to allow us to pay for repair and maintenance work until we invoice you and get the money back.  Most Title Deeds and Deeds of Conditions have arrangements for a floating fund as it is recognised that the factor needs to pay for a lot of work upfront and often invoices customers 3 months in arrears.  To enable factors to do this we need to have funds in place to pay contractors, utilities, insurance etc. on your behalf. Currently, only shared ownership properties are liable to a float but it is the intention of Maryhill Housing to eventually include all factored properties.  The float is returned to you in full when you sell your property.
What are my responsibilities?
If you live in a close or block of flats with common areas, you will have a shared responsibility to maintain the common parts of the building.  Details of these obligations can be found in your property Title Deeds or Deeds of Conditions. These will also detail what share you will need to pay.  This information can also be found within your written statement of service which is provided by us.
Can the factor spend my money without asking me first?
As factor, we are allowed to spend up to a set amount without having to obtain approval from owners.  Details of how much we are allowed to spend will normally be included in your Title Deeds or Deeds of Conditions but can also be found in your written statement of services which is provided by us.  Normally under Titles/Deeds the factor is allowed to carry out small repairs without having to bother owners; thus ensuring the efficient management and maintenance of your building.  Examples of such small repairs include repairs to communal broken windows, repairs to leaking gutters, etc.   Where works are estimated to be over the limit which we are permitted to spend, we will contact all owners concerned and seek approval before instructing any work.   The only exception to this would be where there is an emergency and we need to act fast to prevent a risk to lives or deterioration of the building.   In this situation we will only make safe, wind and watertight and thereafter seek owners approval for any further work required.

What is included in the Management Fee I pay?
Your Management Fee covers the following tasks that we carry out on your behalf:

  • Property set up and administration;

  • Title research and preparation of grounds maintenance plans;

  • Carrying out regular inspections of our the communal areas of the building/scheme;

  • Procurement of repairs and maintenance contracts;

  • Contract management;

  • Responding to communal property repairs as they arise – carrying out a pre-inspection visit where required, specifying work, instructing contractor and carrying out post-inspection where required;

  • Checking and paying contractors' invoices;

  • Apportioning of contractors' invoices and calculating shares due by owners;

  • Preparing and issuing quarterly statements of account, recording payments received and monitoring payments against sums due and identifying variances/arrears;

  • Responding to telephone and email queries;

  • Maintaining accurate property repair records;

  • Maintaining accurate owners records;

  • Maintaining factoring software;

  • Dealing with complaints.