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Housing services

What does the council do as factor?

What does the council do as factor?

There is lots of work that goes on behind the scenes of the factoring service, in fact the majority of the work involved is office based. The non-office based activities that are carried out as part of the factoring service are the inspections that the Technical Officer carries out.

The council is legally responsible for registering as a Property Factor with the Scottish Government and is obliged to carry out all work associated with its legal requirements. Here are some of the tasks carried out by East Renfrewshire Council's Housing Service as part of the factoring service.

Administrative tasks

  • Managing our Property Factor Register portfolios of factored properties

  • Maintaining a homeowners' database including the monitoring and recording of all changes of ownership

  • Providing information about factoring and common repairs issues

  • Preparing and distributing Written Statement of Services

  • Checking title deeds and seeking legal advice on factoring and common repairs issues

  • Investigating and answering customers' enquiries and complaints on repairs and factoring issues

  • Writing and distributing the annual newsletter

  • Conducting customer satisfaction surveys

  • Developing the service further and continuing to make improvements.

Repairs management

  • Providing a facility for reporting common repairs within regular office hours

  • Providing a 24 hour service for arranging a contractor to attend emergency common repairs within 4 hours of the call

  • Managing and maintaining an asbestos register

  • Instructing and paying for an asbestos survey of common areas as required under health and safety legislation prior to a contractor carrying out work

  • Regular inspection of asbestos containing materials in common areas in accordance with health and safety legislation

  • Carrying out inspections of reported repairs where appropriate / necessary to confirm repairs requirements

  • Arranging a contractor to carry out non-emergency common repairs and improvements

  • Estimating costs for repairs

  • Procuring best value contractors to carry out repairs in accordance with Scottish Government procurement regulations for public bodies

  • Seeking one-off competitive quotes for high value repairs where an existing best value contract is not appropriate to use for the repair

  • Keeping homeowners informed about common repairs and maintenance

  • Arranging and attending meetings with homeowners to make decisions on common repairs and maintenance in accordance with title deeds and/or the Tenement (Scotland) Act 2004 (where needed)

  • Inspecting repairs in progress (where needed)

  • Post-inspecting repairs once they are complete (where needed)

  • Seeking additional information on repairs carried out where this is needed to ensure the correct owners are charged for the repair (e.g. work to common drains)

  • Meeting contractors on a regular basis to ensure quality is maintained

  • Raising inspections and cheque requests for homeowners who carry out their own work

Invoicing homeowners

  • Checking costs for works completed to ensure charges are correct prior to invoicing

  • Calculating owners' share of the cost of completed jobs in accordance with title deeds, Tenement (Scotland) Act 2004 and/ or by usage, whichever is appropriate

  • Issues invoices to customers.

  • Investigating and answering customer's enquiries and complaints on invoice issues

  • Implementing debt recovery procedures, up to and including legal action, where owners fail to pay their invoices.

The objective of the factoring service is to make sure that necessary common repairs are carried out effectively, efficiently, at best value, and in accordance with the law.

The annual factoring fee covers the cost of the core services outlined above. However, the cost of any actual repairs carried out is not covered by the factoring fee and is charged separately. The cost paid to the contractors to attend to a reported repair and carry out that repair is charged to all of the owners in the block in accordance with the title deeds, Tenement (Scotland) Act 2004 and/ or by usage.

The same applies to any visit made by the contractor where a full repair cannot be carried out. This includes visits to make safe, visits to do temporary repairs or visits where they have attended to carry out a repair but for any reason are not able to do it. For example, where no access is provided or where only a substantial repair will resolve the issue which they are unable to do there and then.

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