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Factor on a property

(20 Posts)
StrongerSingle Sat 13-Aug-16 16:02:08

Has anyone successfully got rid of a company that has a factor on your property?

I just bought a newish house (3 yrs old) and had to agree to pay a company nearly £200 a year to look after communal land. Since moving in I have more details and now know it is just a small amount of land, at the back of the estate, which I never see, or walk past.

There are 58 houses on the estate so, if everyone is paying the same, they are getting over £10k a year for this which I think is scandalous.

Surely the factor can't stay in place forever?

Is there any way out of this?

WankersHacksandThieves Sat 13-Aug-16 18:08:07

It depends on who owns the land.

We removed a factor on a previous estate but the factor was maintaining areas technically owned by homeowners/the developer plus a play area owned by the developer. We formed an estate community group and basically voted the factor off and renegotiated and employed a different factor with reduced duties. Previous one was cutting everyone's front lawns!

Current estate you can't do that because all the little strips of land being maintained are owned by the factor company. It's a farce because basically we are paying them to maintain their own land but I've not managed to find a way out of it.

StrongerSingle Sat 13-Aug-16 18:39:38

Thanks Wankers

I've never come across this sort of thing before. Lived up in Scotland for 16 yrs but last house had no factor. I honestly thought they at least mowed everyone's front garden (the front gardens are tiny) but now I've checked it out I realise not!

I'll have to find out who owns the land. Maybe I can get everyone to agree to ditch this company. There is a lovely guy on our corner who mows people's lawns. I'd rather pay him to maintain this communal land rather than a large faceless company.

WankersHacksandThieves Sat 13-Aug-16 19:22:30

Who is the factor? The one we ditched was Hacking & paterson, the one we can't is Green belt. We are a bit less than you but it is a bigger estate though it has quite a lot of wee strips to be done - we are about a tenner a month but I don't think it's every month though.

StrongerSingle Sat 13-Aug-16 20:49:58

Yep, Green belt here. They only just realised that I live here. I got a bill one week and a threatening demand letter a week later. Not sure where they think I'm gonna magic £200 from :-/

cdtaylornats Sat 13-Aug-16 21:54:18

scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/advice_topics/repairs_and_bad_conditions/repairs_and_maintenance_in_common_areas/property_managers_and_factors

That is worth reading.

StrongerSingle Sat 13-Aug-16 22:01:40

Thank you cdtaylornats smile

I'll give that a read.

AgentProvocateur Sat 13-Aug-16 22:02:52

Factors are, on the whole, a shower of useless robbing bastards who get money for old rope grin

StrongerSingle Sat 13-Aug-16 22:05:54

My thoughts exactly Agent :-)

I have had a Google myself and found some forums with people bemoaning this system. I just can't get my head around the fact it is so difficult to get out of the agreement.

AyeAmarok Sat 13-Aug-16 22:10:28

Factors are, on the whole, a shower of useless robbing bastards who get money for old rope

Yup!

I quite fancy getting rid of ours. Good thread!

WankersHacksandThieves Sat 13-Aug-16 22:13:20

We had a large long running fight with ours because one of these narrow strips runs down the side of my house and they weren't maintaining it. After a few years it was established that the piece of land was never turned over to Green Belt and so was technically still owned by the developer. However the original developer had handed over the bit where our his is to a 2nd developed, that develope had been taken over by someone else who was then overtaken by yet another company. The original developer had also been taken over twice. In the end it was becoming a nightmare trying to work out who it belonged too, it was easier for us to move our fence and claim the land as our own and clear it of all the massive jaggy bushes that had ran rampant for a few years. We've had it now for nearly 10 years so it's effectively ours now legally I think. An extra 7 foot added to the width of our garden.

StrongerSingle Sat 13-Aug-16 22:27:17

I think I feel a mission coming on 😊

Redyoyo Sat 13-Aug-16 22:57:37

If it is greenbelt greenspace you'll probably find that the developer has sold the remainder of the estate to them and you can't remove them. If it's just greenbelt then the land will be common to everyone on the estate and they will be working as just a factor and you can get rid.
Get a copy of your own Land Certificate and there should be a deed of conditions registered and this should tell you how you can sack the factor.

StrongerSingle Sun 14-Aug-16 01:00:39

Thanks Redyoyo smile

That's something to go on. I'll rake through all my paperwork tomorrow

Linnet Sun 14-Aug-16 01:17:27

I pay a factoring fee every year to our factors, which is a Housing Association who own some of the flats in our street, in case they have to arrange something to be done to the block, i.e the roof falls in etc. Even if the roof doesn't fall in i still pay the factoring fee. I pay separately for a landscaping company to cut grass in a communal area. They are also meant to spray weeds etc in an area of the street which they don't do and is nowhere near the block that I live in. I am then charged an extra fee later in the year when they are sent out to do this work which I think they should be doing throughout the year.

We did have a good few years when we had a tenants association group where we were in charge of the landscaping, mainly the cutting of the grass in the communal areas and there was a timetable for those who wanted to cut the grass etc. Eventually it was disbanded and went back the the HA as some people just didn't want to take part.

We couldn't get rid of them completely but we did try with some of the costs but in the end it went back to them.

StrongerSingle Sun 14-Aug-16 09:08:56

Thanks Linnet and Wankers smile

Sounds like these agreements are difficult to get out of.

I rarely have problems sleeping but must admit I was awake most of last night mulling all of this through. Just seems so silly/unfair that I'm paying so much to maintain a bit of land I can't even see from the house :-/

BigGlasses Wed 17-Aug-16 22:06:30

I also live in a new(ish) estate with a factors fee. There is 100 houses and we pay £183 a year. So over 18 grand! It is a complete rip off. They mow the grass area at the front of the estate and look after the park. And that is about it. I looked into it a few years ago and it's quite difficult to get rid of them, you have to get agreement from a huge percentage of owners and prove you have another factor in place before you can get rid. Ours is also green belt sad

Kr1stina Thu 18-Aug-16 13:16:29

What agent said

coolpotato Thu 18-Aug-16 13:59:03

we had a factor company 'managing' the common areas (ie. mow the grass every now and again) where we last lived. it was going to be very tricky to dislodge them. It was a license to print money as far as I was concerned - making money hand over fist for very little effort. They would challenge just about every query we had concerning common areas, try to weasel out of anything where possible. Glad we moved and got rid! Good luck!

cdtaylornats Thu 18-Aug-16 14:12:40

Just make their lives harder

Check the factor is registered
Check the written statement of services you must have been given and that everything is done correctly to the last detail.
If they challenge a query tell them your not satisfied and intend to take it to the homeowner housing panel.

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