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OTHA provides a property management (or factoring) service for owners within some of our mixed-ownership developments. We work hard to ensure our properties are maintained to a high standard through the development and delivery of a flexible, high quality, cost-efficient service.
Our services include:
- Coordinating and carrying out work on the owners' behalf
- Administration of common repairs/maintenance, buildings insurance (where applicable) and estate maintenance
- Ensuring that the property is properly maintained and insured (where applicable)
Our Housing team carry out quarterly inspections of all our closes (including factored properties) and our estates. The inspections are recorded and are used to ensure that the common areas are being maintained to a high standard and identifying any remedial repairs or health and safety concerns.
We are registered with the Scottish Government in the Property Factor Register No. PF000264
As part of the Code of Conduct, we must adhere to, we will issue a Written Statement of Services to all owners. This will detail the service we provide, how this is to be paid for, and details of all the costs associated with our service as a factor.
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Oak Tree Housing Association is a 'not for profit' organisation and a registered charity. Most of our income comes from the rents of our tenanted properties. We also provide factoring services to owners who have a requirement as per deeds of conditions, to co-ordinate common repairs and landscape maintenance to ensure that our properties and estates are maintained for the benefit of all - owners and tenants.
The Association provides two types of service to owners:
Factored Property Service - This is the service we provide to owners in a tenemental property.
Common Landscape Maintenance - This is the service we provide to main door properties where there is common land and where the Association owns land where owners have a repairing obligation.
Each owner receives a Statement of Service containing information on their share of the charges for this service.
You will only pay for your share of what our contractors have charged us for any works carried out to your building.
For Common Landscape Maintenance customers, we divide the total cost of any works by the number of tenants and owners in the area.
The Association is responsible for recovering the costs to tenants through their rent.
The Association charges and fees to cover the costs of providing our Factored Service, which is £167.40 per annum (not applicable to Sharing Owners).
For Common Landscape Maintenance customers, we charge an Administration Fee of 15% (subject to a minimum charge of £3.00) to cover the costs of providing our service.
We charge fees to cover the staff time involved in organising contracts, monitoring works, apportioning costs, paying contractors, recovering debt and answering queries. This charge is reviewed each year taking into account the demands on our services from owners.
For Factored customers, invoices are sent twice a year, in March (for the period July to December of the previous year) and September (for the period January to June).
For Landscape Maintenance customers, invoices are sent out annually in May for the previous financial year 1 April to 31 March.
All invoices will detail the work done, the total cost, and your individual share.
The invoice should be paid within 28 days from the date it was issued.
If customers would prefer to spread the payment of their invoices we can arrange for owners to set up Direct Debit or Standing Order payments based on clearing the debt within 6 months. If you would like to discuss this option further, please contact a member of the Finance team.
If you are having difficulty paying your bills, we can also offer details of a number of organisations who can offer you financial help and advice.
At present, the Association front funds the cost of works undertaken on behalf of owners by up to 9 months for factoring activities and up to 14 months for landscape maintenance activities, before invoicing owners for their share of the work. If owners' accounts are not cleared within a suitable timeframe, our tenants subsidise the outstanding debt, therefore, ensuring debts are fully paid in a timely manner, is an important aspect of our role as Factor.
We adopt a firm, but a flexible and reasonable approach to debt recovery and take action as early as possible.
If you do not pay your outstanding balance within 28 days, or have a payment plan in place, you will receive a reminder letter. If the outstanding balance remains unpaid after 14 days, then you will receive a further letter detailing the next course of action, which could mean the debt is passed to the Sherriff Officer, our Solicitor, or we will instruct Court Action where we will request a Decree for Payment to be granted.
Any costs incurred because of these procedures will be added to customers' accounts.
If your debt is over £250.00, the Association may instruct our solicitor to register a Notice of Potential Liability on your property, which means that the property cannot be sold without clearing the debt or a prospective buyer would have to agree to take on the debt before the sale could proceed. This notice will remain on your property for 3 years. Costs incurred by registering / deregistering this notice will be added onto owners' accounts.
As a factor, we organise a range of common repairs and general maintenance. A common repair is a repair that is the shared responsibility of all owners. Usually, this would cover repairs in areas such as the roof, stairs, garden area, and external walls. Your share of the responsibility will be defined in the Title Deeds for your property. We recommend that you refer to your Title Deeds to clarify your responsibility towards the common areas.
Your Deed of Condition is a legal document and details your responsibility and rights towards common repairs also known as a “burden”. Within the Deeds, there might also be information regarding the management of the common areas such as the obligations and duties of the factor. The Deeds should also define the procedures for dealing with repairs and routine maintenance, provision for insurance, and explains the procedures for the factor to recover any outstanding debts.
Routine Common Repairs
OTHA instructs day-to-day repairs on common areas that have been reported by customers or through inspections by our staff. Our Housing Services team carry out quarterly inspections of closes, backcourts and estates. Due to Covid 19 restrictions this has not been possible but we hope that inspections will re-start in early 2021.
OTHA administers major repairs projects, for example, re-roofing and stone repairs. With this type of repair, the costs involved exceed the standard level of approval and we would, therefore, require the consent of all owners within the property prior to work commencing. For contractual reasons, we require owners to make their full financial contribution once the tender process is complete and the contractor appointed. We endeavour to keep in contact with the local authority to find out about the availability of grants for such projects and will coordinate applications.
- Stair Cleaning – this is provided on a weekly basis to some tenemental properties
- Environmental Maintenance – this service is programmed over summer and winter months to include grass cutting, de-weeding, hedge trimming and litter removal in communal areas.
|Landscaping Programme 2020-2021||298KB|
|Specification for Landscaping Activities||595KB|
Landscaping Customer Queries
John O’Connor Landscaping
Customer Liaison Contact
01294 212481 (office working hours).
Cyclical Common Repairs
These are repairs carried out over a fixed period of time to protect the property from falling into a state of disrepair such as
- Painting of common areas
- Gutter cleaning
We provide information on all planned works in advance of the work commencing. As with common repairs, consultation with owners is necessary where works exceed the amount noted in the Deed of Conditions.
Please note we do not accept cash and cheque payments at our office
By telephoning us on 01475 807000.
At any bank
Take your cheque or cash with the completed payment slip to the bank.
Some banks may charge for this service.
Internet or phone banking
Pay directly to the Association’s account number 00641190 and sort code
83-22-20, quoting your reference number (this can be found on your invoice, on the left-hand side underneath the address).
Direct Debit / Standing Order
If customers would prefer to spread the cost of their charges we can arrange for you to set up Direct Debit or Standing Order payments either monthly or weekly, but ensuring that the debt is paid within 6 months. Please contact the Finance team on 01475 807000 to discuss this in further detail.
If you are experiencing difficulty making payment, please contact the Finance team on 01475 807000.
Our office opening hours are:
Monday 9.00am – 5.00pm
Tuesday 9.00am – 6.00pm
Wednesday 12.00pm – 5.00pm
Thursday 9.00am – 5.00pm
Friday 9.00am – 4.00pm
Our factoring service areas are located throughout Inverclyde. We’ve provided our internal drawing to show exactly where these are. If you have any questions about these drawing or your factored service, please contact us on 01475 807000.
Help improve our service
We welcome both positive and negative feedback, as it helps us develop and improve our property management service. Please get in touch or complete our online feedback form.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Factoring is a service provided by a property management company who act on behalf of owner-occupiers or shared owners to maintain areas that have a common interest to an excellent standard and then apportion the cost of the repairs to owners. Areas of common interest are the building structure, roofs, close and backcourt.
Your Deed of Condition is a legal document and details your responsibility and rights towards common repairs also known as a “burden”. Within the Deeds there might also be information regarding the management of the common areas such as the obligations and duties of the factor. The Deeds should also define the procedures for dealing with repairs and routine maintenance, provision for insurance, and explains the procedures for the factor to recover any outstanding debts.
Owners are expected to keep their property and communal areas well maintained. Owners are also expected to pay for common repairs and a management fee for their factoring services. You may be asked to pay a deposit towards common repairs. When you leave your deposit will be refunded and the new owner takes over your responsibilities.
As an owner you have the rights to make any alterations and amendments to your home in accordance with planning department regulations. However a home-owner can not make any changes to their property or common areas that will interfere with other owners rights or cause a nuisance in the common areas.
If you are experiencing anti-social behaviour from your neighbours that are not factoring related, e.g. loud noises, we recommend that you either talk to your neighbour, seek the help of the police or call the anti-social behaviour network.
If your neighbour is a tenant of OTHA, you can register a complaint and our Housing Services team will do our best to help. If your complaint is about another owner or a tenant of a private landlord then we will offer you advice on how to complain to the relevant agencies but we are unable to deal with matters not directly related to our factoring service.
Should you ever have a reason to be unhappy with our services or standard of work then in the first instance you should try and resolve your complaint with staff. However if you are not satisfied with our response then please request a copy of our Factoring Complaints Procedure.
When you have agreed a sale for your property please instruct your solicitor to inform us in plenty of time so that we can amend our records. We send a common charges invoice to your solicitor on the date of settlement. In the event of there being an outstanding balance at the date of sale your solicitor will normally deduct this from the proceeds of the sale.
If you pay by standing order, please remember to cancel this with your bank.