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Scottish tenement factor not organising work

(16 Posts)
shoppingstar Wed 10-Nov-10 18:20:42

I'd be grateful of any advice / experience regarding our problems with the company who factor our tenement building.

We own our flat in Glasgow and have lived here for 6 years. There are 8 flats in the close and in addition to being the factor they are the property managers for 3 of the rented flats.

We have had numerous telephone conversations with the factor company re 2 issues - lack of a back gate from the public access lane to our communal back garden (for over 2 years) and lack of attention to trees in back garden resulting in them growing too high and roots growing into building foundations / trees potentially posing risk in stormy weather.

In July, frustrated at lack of progress and return of phone calls, DH wrote to the factors outlining our concerns and asking them to reply what action they had taken to date and their plans to address in future. We have had no acknowledgement of letter or reply. (And have not chased up but realise we need to do something else now.)

What would it be best to do to get a new back garden gate and get the trees cut?

Rangirl Wed 10-Nov-10 18:24:55

Who are the factors

shoppingstar Wed 10-Nov-10 18:28:56

Cumming Turner and Watt

DLIguy Wed 10-Nov-10 18:31:32

Can the owners give the contract for "factoring" to another company if there is dissatisfaction with their performance?

shoppingstar Wed 10-Nov-10 18:33:14

We had to sign something along with mortgage saying we accepted CTW as factors. Would need everyone else in stair to want to change to have majority as they are involved in 3/8 of the flats.

trixymalixy Wed 10-Nov-10 18:34:39

i would get together with the other tenants and get a new factor.

Rangirl Wed 10-Nov-10 18:36:52

I have usually found them ok so it might be possible to resolve this .Are you dealing with this yourself or are all your neighbours making a joint approach.What do your titles say ie do repairs have to be agreed by a majority of owners or more.When you say lack of gate do you mean the gate is no longer there or has there never been a gate

shoppingstar Wed 10-Nov-10 19:06:16

A couple of years ago the gate was damaged (IIRC) and removed, money was collected for a new gate but only the brick work was done and a new gate never materialised. So the garden is accessible by anyone off the street / back lane.

So far we have dealt with this alone. One other family feels same as us, unsure how 2 other owners in stair feel - recent new owners and don't know them well. Other flats are rented with owners not living in Glasgow.

Repairs over a certain amount have to be agreed by all (I think it is £200). we were trying to ascertain in factors had asked others for money for new gate / tree felling and what information they had supplied along with request i.e. owner may feel differently if know tree roots are growing into foundations rather than think tree cutting is for cosmetic reasons.

I guess now just want most efficient way of getting some response from factor.

CommanderDrool Wed 10-Nov-10 19:12:49

I would canvas others in your close about changing factors. It is your right and there are plenty of thenm out there.

Our factor is similar in that they are only interested in the big jobs but something like dealing with the trees outside our window is forgotten about.

You can also self factor.

prettybird Wed 10-Nov-10 19:13:40

Do you know who the onwers of the 3 rented flats are? is ther any way for you to contact them directly to let them know the concerns that you have with the factors? The owners probably wouldn't want to have the value of their investments (ie the flats) to be damaged.

How much are you paying towards the factoring? Does the factor provide accounts? They should, so if you haven't seen any, you should ask for them.

That could be a start towards getting C,T & W to realise that you are serious about getting some action.

AgentProvocateur Wed 10-Nov-10 19:40:04

All factors are bastards. Fact. We lived in tenements for years, and one of the main reasons for moving to house out the city was so that we'd never again have to deal with factors - all of whom get a lot of money for f-all work.

There has been talk in the Scottish Parliament of changing their powers or regulating them (or something...) and it's long overdue.

Sorry about the rant. No help, but I feel your pain.

Rangirl Wed 10-Nov-10 19:47:04

It is going to be difficult for you to change factors or do very much without support from the majority of owners and it does not sound like you have this.Self factoring is indeed possible and can work very well but only if everyone is up for it.I have a lot of experience of tenements in Glasgow and while there can be problems with factors there can be worse problems with self factored tenements where most people aren't that intereste. i think you should contact CTW again .Don't be fobbed off,make sure you speak to one of the partners,The problem may well be that no one is prepared to pay their share.I agree with you the work needs done but sadly lots of people don't bother and ignore problems as long as they can This can be a particular problem when ,as here,a number of the flats are not owner occupied

AgentProvocateur Wed 10-Nov-10 19:47:06

Sorry - have re-read your post, and can now offer suggestion.

If your whole building is insured, and that insurance is arranged through the factor, I'd contact the insurance company and speak to them about the trees. Apart from anything else, you want to check that that trees so near the building are not invalidating your insurance.

Secondly, the gate. I'd get a couple of prices, and drop a note through all the doors with this info, ccing the factors. If you get agreement from the other 5 residents, I'd invoice the factors for the remaining three.

Self-factoring is another route, but the only people I know who have done this successfully live in a tenement where each flat is owned, and the owners have all lived there for years and know each other well.

The other alternative is changing factors, but I think they're all as bad as each other.

shoppingstar Wed 10-Nov-10 19:49:16

thanks for responses

commander my concern is that they are all much of a much-ness so it may not be an improvement and I'm not keen to take in self-factoring

prettybird the only way I know of contacting the 3 owners that CTW agent for would be through CTW themselves. We don't pay very much for factor fee. They provide individual accounts but that wouldn't detail wht the money initially gathered for a new gate was spent on if not a gate.

AP thanks for sharing our pain

shoppingstar Wed 10-Nov-10 19:55:48

cross posts

thanks for practical advice - I'll do both re-contacting CTW and get quotes for gate

highriggs Wed 10-Nov-10 20:13:57

Not sure about Glasgow tenements but here in Edinburgh if there is a problem that is affecting the building then the Council can put an order for repairs to be done. This could be the trees as it would affect the building's safety. The dreaded Statuary Notice for Repairs.
If people in the stair don't agree to do it themselves then the council steps in and does the repairs and bills all the owners.

It might be an idea to speak to the Council and get an idea of what they would deem a necessary repair.

Also you can track down the owners via the council although would be easier if HMO flats. If CTW are acting as landlords you should be able to find the owners from the landlords register.

It is a bugger but don't be dissuaded, speak to your neighbours and mention that their flats might be unsellable/unmortgagiable if the trees are seen to be a hazard.

Good luck and I also feel your pain but be persistent and get your neighbours on your side. Usually one person in a stair tends to all the work but others will agree as long as they have to do nothing. Get the money from them first if they all agree to the work.

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