FACTORING POLICY March 2007

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1 FACTORING POLICY March 2007

2 SPIRE VIEW HOUSING ASSOCIATION FACTORING POLICY DATE APPROVED: March THE ASSOCIATION S OBJECTIVES To provide good quality affordable housing for those in need and to provide all existing tenants and owners with a good quality management service. To adopt a flexible, efficient and responsive approach to owner occupiers and sharing owners through the Associations management service. 2.0 THE DEED OF CONDITIONS The Deed of Conditions adopted by the Association ensures that the Association retains full control over the property as long as it owns or part owns at least one house in the block to which the deed relates. The terms of the Tenement (Scotland) Act 2006 will be implemented and the views of the majority of owners sought when required. The deed outlines the responsibilities of both the owners and the Association in terms of the management of the property, these being further adjusted in the Tenement (Scotland) Act FACTORING AGREEMENT Each owner and sharing owner is required to sign a factoring agreement which indicates that they have received and read a copy of the factoring policy and agree to the terms and conditions set down in it. 4.0 REPAIRS 4.1 Common Day to Day Repairs The Association shall carry out all common repairs of which it has been notified in the same timescale as defined in the Maintenance Policy which is in place for rented properties. The response times at present are: Emergency Urgent Routine 4 HOURS 24 HOURS 5 WORKING DAYS

3 The common parts of the property are outlined in the Deed of Conditions and include the roof, the close, the backcourt, common boundaries, and the tenemental structure. Each owner will be charged 1/8th (1/6th for Bright Street closes, 94 & 96 James Nisbet Street) of the cost of common repairs provided that the cost of any ONE item does not exceed This excludes cyclical maintenance where the owners/ sharing owners pay into a sinking fund. This sum may be reviewed annually by the Association in accordance with inflation with the owner being notified in writing of any change. If the anticipated cost of any item exceeds 500, works will be instructed only on the approval of the majority of the owners concerned, after a submission of an estimate by the factor. In the event of an emergency where in the opinion of the co-operative, work is necessary for the safety/health of the occupiers and the public, or the integrity of the building, the Co-operative reserves the right to authorise the required works, the cost of which will be apportioned and charged to each owner according to the previously agreed share. For emergency common repairs outwith normal office hours, owners and sharing owners should use the Associations emergency repair call-out service. 4.2 Non Common Repairs If requested, the Association will give a range of names of appropriate Contractors from our Approved List to owners or sharing owners to carry out repairs for which they are responsible. The owners or sharing owners will arrange and pay for these repairs direct. 4.3 Common Maintenance Bright St In Bright St there are 7 sharing owners and 5 full owners as at March The Association provides the following maintenance services to sharing owners which are detailed in the shared ownership rent review notice under Service Charges. They include, Cost of Landlords electricity supply Gutter cleaning and roof inspection Door entry checks Grass cutting and common grounds maintenance Maintenance and service of gas boilers The following services are optional

4 Included within the Service Charge, (which makes up the sharing owners total rental charge) is an estimated annual cost for responsive, communal day to day repairs. Close cleaning subject to majority voting Window cleaning subject to majority voting The costs of providing these services are projected by the Maintenance Officer and are reviewed annually in accordance with the rent review notice. Full owners can pay for these services quarterly in arrears or can spread the cost by paying an anticipated monthly charge. 4.4 Common Maintenance James Nisbet St Owners Owners have the option of paying by monthly installment or by quarterly invoice for common maintenance charges. 4.5 Cyclical Maintenance James Nisbet Owners The Association will carry out inspections of the common areas in tenemental properties in accordance with the Scottish Housing Quality Standard Delivery Plan. This will produce a cyclical maintenance specification to ensure that the common areas are maintained to a good quality which will ensure sustainable housing. This specification will be reviewed periodically. The specification will be costed and will be issued to owners. Those owners who do not contribute to a cyclical maintenance fund will be encouraged to do so. It is anticipated that this will help the owner budget for repairs. Any monies accumulated by the owner, not required for the settlement of an account will be refunded upon sale of the property. 4.6 Cyclical Maintenance Bright St Owners Sharing owners and owners in Bright St pay into a cyclical maintenance fund in accordance with the deed of conditions. This income is held in trust by the Association in a high interest account, similar to a sinking fund, although it should be noted that this money is not refundable. (I do not think this would be acceptable. If an owner sells then they can only be held for the cost of work instructed or carried out since the last account was issued. They cannot be held for a share of work yet to be instructed even if they have paid money into an account. The Association will review the level of payments on an annual basis and shall, on request, issue a balance of the account together with the estimated expenditure. The specification for cyclical maintenance will be reviewed in accordance with the Scottish Housing Quality Standard Delivery Plan.

5 5.0 INSURANCE At the settlement of purchase, the Association shall arrange buildings insurance cover (not contents although this is available separately) via its common block policy and recharge the appropriate premium on a quarterly basis. If an owner prefers to go with another insurer then the Association s interest must be noted on the policy. The cost of insurance for shared owners is included in the shared ownership rent. Where claims are made by shared owners, they will be responsible for the full policy excess applicable to the claim. 6.0 FLOAT New owners will be charged a float of This should help reduce the risk associated with bad debts. However, in Bright St we may not be able to enforce a float as this is not detailed in the deed of conditions. Unless with the agreement of the majority of owners. 7.0 MANAGEMENT FEE An annual management fee of shall be charged by the Association to full owners and shared owners. It will be reviewed annually and the owners will be notified in writing of any change. Full owners will be charged quarterly as part of the regular account. However, the fee will be included in the shared ownership rent and shown separately in the rent review notice. 7.0 ACCOUNTS Accounts shall be issued quarterly and should be paid within 14 days of receipt. Should owners choose to pay by monthly instalment a statement will be issued annually and the monthly charge amended accordingly. Interest on any outstanding debt shall be charged in accordance with the deed of conditions. Failure to pay will result in debt recovery action via the courts. Prior to instructing court action staff need to have obtained Committee approval. Staff will have regard to the Debt Arrangement & Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002, Small Claims Action for debt under and Summary Court Action for Debt in excess of but under The cost of such legal action will be charged to the owner. 8.0 INFORMATION TO OWNERS The Association recognises the importance of giving owners and potential owners information on the anticipated costs of maintaining the common areas of their tenement and on their maintenance responsibilities in accordance with their

6 deed of conditions. information. To assist in this process we will provide the following Pre Purchase Tenants who have expressed an interesting in exercising their right to buy and potential new purchasers will be provided will information on the cost of maintaining the common areas. Post Purchase A new owner s pack will include: Complaints Procedures Factoring Agreement Information about insurance Factoring Policy Information about Emergency Repairs Promotion of payment by monthly instalments and payment into a sinking fund. Cyclical maintenance specification for common areas and the anticipated costs. Details of provisional planned maintenance costs Ongoing Information Provision Our quarterly newsletter will include a section which covers our factoring service. This will include plans for future works, an update on current work, and any relevant changes to our policies. 8.0 CHANGES IN OWNERSHIP The owner shall notify the Association of any change in ownership. 9.0 ARBITRATION All disputes and differences, except those detailed within clause 3 of the Deed of Conditions which describes the procedures for a cyclical maintenance fund, cleaning of common parts and the execution of major works, which may arise between the Association and the owners or sharing owners shall be referred to the decision of the Dean of the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow as Arbiter. Alternatively, the parties may agree between them another appropriate person to act as Arbiter. The Association will use the Rent Registration Service in Scotland as a basis to settle rent review disputes.

7 The decision of the Arbiter shall be final and binding upon all parties. REPORT TO COMMITTEE Staff will report to the Committee on an annual basis regarding the factoring service. The report will detail. The amount collected The arrears outstanding. The amount of unbilled factoring charges at the end of the year. The number of owners who pay into a sinking fund. Legal action taken to recover factoring charges. Complaints form owners. Stair-casing in shared ownership properties. Sale of shared ownership properties. Any sales or application for RTB 10.0 POLICY REVIEW This policy is due for review every 3 years ALTERNATIVE FORMATS As with all the association's policies and procedures, this document is available in full and in part on tape, in braille and in translation into most other languages March 2007

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