Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,00015:08 PM, 29th March 2021
About 3 weeks ago 39
I recently invested in a BTL property in Scotland (Renfrewshire) which is in a building containing 8 flats. 5 of these flats are privately owned and 3 are still under council control. 4 of the flats (including mine) being let by their owners. The council are not the factors for this building. There is currently no factor in place and it’s up to the owners to address any repairs or maintenance. 4 of the flats (including mine) being let by their owners.
As the building requires repairs and ongoing maintenance, I contacted the council with a view to having the necessary works carried out, obviously understanding that I have an obligation to pay my share. To my dismay, I was advised by the council that for many years they have been recommending that certain repairs be carried out, however, they could never secure a majority vote as 4 of the landlords were not willing to put their hand in their pockets to fix any issues.
Q: Is there anything I or the council do to persuade or legally force the dissenting landlords to pay up?
I have recently spoken with a new private live-in owner in this block who is as keen as I am to have any repairs carried out and to have a form of maintenance in place. If my maths are correct, that would give us a 5 – 3 vote in favour of agreeing to repairs (3 council and 2 private v 3 Landlords) agreeing to repairs, which is I suppose a start.
Q: Is it worthwhile pursuing the non-paying, non agreeing landlords to court for their share of any works?
Surely not agreeing to carry out repairs or maintenance in investment terms is, in the long run, a false economy?
Editors Notes from >> MyGov.Scot
Sometimes a group of owners in a tenement may decide to hire someone to take care of the maintenance and repair responsibilities for them.
These are called property factors (sometimes called property managers), and for a fee they can:
Appointing and dismissing a property factor
The process for appointing or dismissing a property factor may be set out in your title deeds.
If you cannot find the information in your title deeds you and the other owners may revert to the Tenement Management Scheme which has a procedure for appointing and dismissing a property factor.
Property factors must be registered. It’s a criminal offence to operate as a property factor if you’re unregistered.
A property factor must follow a Code of Conduct which sets a minimum standard of the service it gives to homeowners
The Scottish Property Factor Register lets you search online to find out:
Property factors are responsible for making sure that the information on the register is correct and is in line with any relevant legislation.
Paying property managers
Usually, each property will be charged a regular management fee (every month, three months or six months). They may also be asked to pay into a ‘float’.
This float is used to make sure the property factor has enough money to pay for regular costs or small repairs.
You might also be asked to make regular payments to a ‘building maintenance fund’. This lets the property factor pay for future repair costs so you do not have to make a large one-off payment in the future.
If you are not happy with any work carried out, tell your property factor. They should investigate and tell you what they’ve done to solve the problem.
If you are not happy with their reply (or you do not get one at all), ask about their complaints procedure. A property factor must have one under the code of conduct.
If you think your property factor is breaking the code of conduct or is not carrying out their duties as a property factor, you have to complain to them in writing first and give them a chance to resolve it.
If you’ve complained in writing and they refuse to help (or take an unreasonable amount of time to do it), you can apply to the Housing and Property Chamber. They will then decide if they want to take the application to a tribunal.
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