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Knowing your responsibilities

Published on 04/12/2020

As we all continue to navigate through these challenging times, it is important that our customers remain aware of their responsibilities in meeting their Title obligations, particularly in relation to the ongoing maintenance of their property. At Hacking and Paterson Management Services, we remain on hand to assist our customers in meeting their obligations through the provision of our core factoring service.

There can sometimes be confusion over who is responsible for meeting the Title obligations, particularly when a property factor is involved. The arrangement between a factor and their customers should not however be confused with the homeowners own obligations. It is important to recognise the clear distinction here, as the Title Deeds for a property only burdens the property homeowner, not the property factor.

The services we provide to each homeowner customer are outlined in our Terms of Service and Delivery Standards (written statement) which confirms the arrangements in place between the homeowner and HPMS. (A copy of your written statement can be found by accessing My H&P Web Portal). The written statement offers a range of information on the services provided including financial arrangements, ensuring that funds are available to enable HPMS to continue to affect routine common works and services on our customers behalf.

A recent First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber) decision highlighted the distinction between a homeowners’ obligations and the services provided by a factor (their written statement). The Legal Member confirmed that “Property factors are required by law to provide their services based on a Written Statement of Services”. The decision recorded that “the property factor had not strictly followed the process set out in the Deed of Declaration of Conditions, but property factors were not the party bound by the Deed of Declaration of Conditions”. The decision also emphasised the importance of available funding as in the absence of such funding, a contractor was unlikely to undertake repair work on behalf of homeowners as payment could not be guaranteed.

At HPMS we recognise the importance of proactive maintenance and we would always encourage our customers to adopt such an approach. A key to ensuring such an approach is possible is the availability of homeowners funding by way of a property float. To ensure funds remain available, we carry out periodic reviews of our customers floating fund, therefore avoiding scenarios as touched upon in the First-tier Tribunal decision, where routine repair work and services could be delayed resulting in increased costs or worse, unable to progress at all due to no guarantee of payment to the contractor.

If you wish to discuss any aspect of our services, including how to access My H&P Web Portal or to request a copy of your written statement, then please do not hesitate to contact your dedicated property factoring team, who are available to assist you further.

Further information on the benefits of pro-active maintenance can also be found by accessing Under One Roofs website (by clicking in the link below). Under One Roof offers an excellent range of impartial guidance on property ownership and maintenance.

http://www.underoneroof.scot

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