HOMEOWNERS GUIDE FORMAL FACTORING SERVICE FREEPHONE

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1 HOMEOWNERS GUIDE FORMAL FACTORING SERVICE FREEPHONE /14 Reviewed March 2014

2 2 INDEX Subject Page No ACHA s Objectives 3 Fees and Charges 4-6 Repairs and Maintenance 6 7 Property Services 7 Customer Service Centre Freephone Number 8 Owners Responsibilities 8 Methods of Payment 9 Complaints 9 Useful Contact Numbers 10

3 3 ACHA S OBJECTIVES To carry out repairs and maintenance to common property. To keep owners informed of progress of work including approximate timescales for completion. To respond to repairs within the time limits specific in Factoring Agreements. To develop and encourage property owners to participate in cyclical works and major work programmes. To ensure property owners are consulted on and informed about issues, policies, procedures and responsibilities. To regularly monitor and evaluate all aspects of the factoring service and review policies and procedures as required. To comply with the Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 and Code of Conduct. To be transparent when appointing contractors and detailing costs to owners. This guide contains information on:- 1. Our Factoring Service 2. Our fees and charges 3. Repairs and maintenance

4 4 FEES AND CHARGES For the financial year 2013/14 fees and charges are:- Property Management fee Yearly Weekly For property with a common close 88.40* 1.70* For property with no common close 44.20* 85p* Admin Charge and costs Deposit - refundable on sale 100 Administration Charge - on cost of repair 5% * * Note: ACHA is registered for VAT and VAT will be payable to the Association on the administration fee. Any works provided by businesses (eg contractors to carry out repairs) will have VAT included where these business are VAT registered. The property management fee is reviewed annually and owners will be notified four weeks prior to changes being applied. Deposit The deposit will be included in your first invoice and will be refunded to you after the sale of your property (less any sums due). Fees and charges Invoices are issued in May, August, November and February for the quarterly periods:- April to June; July to September; October to December and January to March.

5 5 The property management fee covers the following:- (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) 24hr freephone repairs hotline to include set up and monitoring Title research and preparation of plans Calculating shares of maintenance due by owners Setting up of software to run the scheme Maintaining ownership records Maintaining accurate property repairs records Issuing quarterly invoices Recording payments received and following up unpaid invoices Apportioning charges on sale and correspondence with solicitors The administration charge is based on a percentage of the cost of work carried out and covers administration work for arranging the repair on behalf of owners, as follows:- (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) Receiving and logging details of repairs required Instructing contractors to carry out work Notifying owners of repairs expected to cost 100 or more Obtain estimates (where required) Tendering for work (where required) Discussions and correspondence with owners Overseeing repairs and ensuring work is carried out satisfactorily Overseeing and organising major improvement works Annual statements are issued following on the end of the financial year. Buildings insurance ACHA does not offer block insurance. Owners are responsible for arranging their own buildings insurance cover.

6 6 All owners have a legal obligation to insure their property in terms of the Tenements (Scotland) Act Owners may be required by ACHA to exhibit evidence of existing buildings insurance cover, together with the renewal, and on request thereafter. NOTE: Contents insurance is a separate issue to buildings insurance and owners should have insurance to cover contents. Grounds maintenance ACHA may be required to carry out common grass cutting, trimming and pruning of trees and shrubs, weedkilling of common pathways and de-littering common ground Any estate ground cyclical maintenance charges will be consulted on prior to commencement and charges will be added to the quarterly invoices for payment. REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE ACHA will carry out repairs and maintenance to common parts of blocks which are notified to us. ACHA aims to meet target response times to carry out repairs and maintenance as set out in our Repairs and Maintenance Policy. Common parts of blocks may include the roof, walls, close, stairways, common drying areas (including clothes poles where common), ground and pathways. Please refer to your factoring agreement for items which specifically relate to your block. Cyclical maintenance Cyclical maintenance means regular maintenance of the fabric of the building, eg painting, cleaning of guttering, etc. Cyclical maintenance provides for works to be carried out regularly to ensure the upkeep and maintenance. Cyclical maintenance programmes will be agreed with owners to create a maintenance programme as and when required.

7 7 Major work Major work involves work to upgrade the property (eg re-roofing, re-roughcasting) which could result in large sums of money having to be spent on the building. An independent tenement condition study may be required to identify what work is needed to the building. ACHA may apply, on behalf of owners, for a grant funded feasibility study to assist in costs of the study and shall apply for grant funding on behalf of the owners following on majority interest being identified by block owners. To proceed with major work it will be necessary for all owners to be in agreement. Property owners are responsible for their share of the cost of such work, tenement condition study, consultant s fees, planning and building warrant costs (where applicable) and administration costs. Major work will not start until full payment of the cost of work has been received by ACHA in advance of work starting, along with a signed Factoring Agreement, signed Minute of Agreement and signed grant mandate form to pay any grant funding direct to the Association (if applicable). All matters relating to major work will be detailed in a separate Minute of Agreement which is specific to the work being carried out and consultation will take place with owners in this regard. PROPERTY SERVICES - Approved contractors ACHA will appoint approved contractors to carry out work to common property. The approved contractors list is reviewed regularly to ensure that prices charged are competitive, reasonable and that workmanship is up to an acceptable standard. Communication ACHA is a registered property factor with the Scottish Government, Property Factor Registered Number PF ACHA is committed to provide a quality factoring service to property owners by consulting and communicating with owners

8 8 and complying with the Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 and Code of Conduct. CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTRE The following freephone number is available for reporting all common repairs including out of hours emergency repairs. CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTRE (freephone) OWNERS RESPONSIBILITIES Property owned exclusively (eg inside flats, own doors including front door, own windows etc) is not covered by the factoring service and is the responsibility of the owner. Owners are required to pay for the factoring service and related costs including repairs and maintenance. A guidance booklet titled we are all responsible has been produced by the Scottish Executive. The booklet is an owners guide to the management and maintenance of common property and is available on their website: Common Repair, Common Sense is also a useful guide although some legislation has been updated since this book was produced. It is available from:- RepairCommonSensesummarylowres.pdf

9 9 METHODS OF PAYMENT Flexible payment methods are available and you may wish to spread the costs over the year by paying monthly by direct debit. Alternatively you can pay your quarterly invoices online on ACHA s website or on our freephone number Payment is due within fourteen days of the invoice being issued. If you have any queries regarding repairs that have been invoiced the Customer Service Centre will be able to direct you to the appropriate member of staff. If you encounter any difficulties in paying your account please contact the Factoring Team so that we can be of assistance to you COMPLAINTS Complaints or disputes will be addressed through ACHA s complaints procedure. Should any complaints not be resolved by the in-house complaints procedures owners can apply to the Homeowners Housing Panel, Europa Building, 450 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G2 8LH. Telephone: Fax: if you feel there has been:- A failure to comply with the Code of Conduct. A failure to carry out duties.

10 10 USEFUL CONTACT NUMBERS Customer ServiceCentre Helensburgh & Lomond James Street, Helensburgh, G84 8AS Cowal Dolphin Hall, Manse Avenue, Dunoon, PA23 8DQ Bute Union Street, Rothesay, PA20 0HD Mid-Argyll Dalriada House, Lochgilphead, PA31 8ST Kintyre Old Quay Head, Campbeltown, PA28 6ED Islay Jamieson Street, Bowmore, Islay, PA43 7HP Oban, Lorn and Isles Menzies House Glenshellach Business Park, Oban, PA34 4RY Factoring Officer Dalriada House, Lochnell Street, Lochgilphead, Argyll, PA31 8ST

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