Q: Nobody told me about a Factor when I purchased my property, why do we have to pay for a factor?
A: This is the responsibility of your solicitor who should provide basic information about factoring arrangements. The Title Deeds or Deed of Conditions which forms part of your property titles provides for the appointment of professional managing agents or Factor to manage the common parts.
Q: What is a Title Deed or Deed of conditions?
A: A legal document outlining your own obligations in terms of the title of your property and shared responsibility for the common parts. It may explain the common parts and in what proportion you must pay for any maintenance to them.
Q: I already have buildings insurance, why do I have to pay the factor?
A: In the majority of instances your Title Deed or Deed of Condition, requires you to arrange a Common Buildings Insurance Policy via the Factor. There is, in these cases no need to have private buildings cover. It is possible that your private insurers will consider a premium refund, once you explain your obligations as a joint owner
Q: Why do we have common insurance? Can we not all just do our own thing?
A . There are huge advantages to a common policy, not least, an uncomplicated claims process in the event of a major claim. With only one insurer involved, devastating losses such as fire, storms and serious burst pipes can be dealt with far more expeditiously by a single loss adjuster appointed to manage the entire claim process ensuring that the building is restored as quickly as possible. Only one excess payment applies rather than many individual excesses.
Q: Do you get commission for this from the insurance company?
A: Yes. We will negotiate a commission commensurate with the work involved in arranging the insurance, notifying claims, liaising with owners and insurers and maintaining compliance with FCA regulations. We will disclose any commission received at the time of renewal.
Q: Are contractors employed by you, subsidiaries of your Firm?
A: No. We operate an approved list of contractors where there is strict criteria and vetting of contractors to ensure that they are competent and have the necessary insurance and health & safety policies in place.
Q: Do you receive commission from contractors?
A: No, contrary to popular belief, we do not receive commission based incentives from contractors employed on your behalf.
Q: How do we change Factor?
A: Refer to your Title Deeds or Deed of conditions for guidance. It may that there is a requirement to call a meeting or a simple majority of the owners may be sufficient.
Q: Can you help me with my noisy neighbours?
A: This is very much a social issue falling out-with the factors remit. Factors have no power to engage with "noisy neighbours" We recommend that you contact your local police office or consult the Local Authority Anti-Social Behaviour Department.
Q: My neighbour has erected their own satellite dish, can the factor get this removed?
A: There are two issues here 1) did your neighbour obtain appropriate Planning Consent from the Local Authority? 2) Has the aerial/dish been attached to the building in contravention of the Deed of Conditions? We have no authority simply to have the aerial/dish removed. However we can assist by suggesting an appropriate course of action towards removal of the offending aerial/dish.
Q: I rent out my flat, can the Tenant pay the Factors bill?
A: No. Our contract is with the joint Owners. If you let your property you will need to tell your Factor where to send correspondence, other than the tenanted address, for you.
Q: My neighbour caused a leak and brought down the ceiling, why should I have to pay the insurance excess charge? A: In terms of the Policy cover, the requirement to pay any excess lies with the claimant, regardless of the nature or cause of the insured incident. However, in block of flats insurance the claimant is “The Co-Owners” and not necessarily any one individual. Your Factor may agree a specific policy with the block Owners in advance of agreeing the management contract, or, have a specific policy on how to treat excesses for the Owners. This can be to charge them as a common expense or as individual charges.
Q: The owners association made a decision at the recent meeting that I do not agree with. Am I bound by it?
A: The Deed of Conditions will lay down how different types of decision are to be made. However, if it was a proper decision made at a quorate (quorum is the stipulated number of owners attending any meeting which makes the meeting valid), within the terms of the Deeds, then you are liable for your share of any agreed expenditure.
Q: A friend of mine is a contractor. Can we use them?
A: Yes, providing it is agreed by the owners and they pass the vetting criteria for approved contractors. All contractors must hold relevant liability insurance and health and safety policies.