Friday 1 November 2013

GLC publish free toolkit for Scottish homeowners with property factor disputes

Govan Law Centre has published a free tookit for Scottish homeowners who are unhappy with the service received from their property factors (property managers). The free toolkit, supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, explains the rights of customers in relation to the relevant law - including the Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011, which was drafted by GLC for Patricia Ferguson MSP - the registration process for property factors, the statutory Code of Conduct, and the new dispute resolution procedure in Scotland.

The toolkit includes illustrative letters of complaint and step-by-step help on how to complete an application to the new Homeowner Housing Panel, with common examples. GLC had spearheaded a campaign over a number of years to regulate the property management industry in Scotland, and provide a consumer-friendly form of alternative dispute resolution for homeowners that had 'legal teeth'.

In 2009, the Office of Fair Trading undertook a market study of the property factor industry and concluded that: 'This is a market that is not working well for many homeowners in Scotland. People often have little or no understanding about their rights, households rarely switch factors, suppliers do not seem to be actively competing with each other and the options for consumers when things go wrong are very limited'. The 2011 Act was the Scottish Parliament's response to these significant problems.

GLC Property Factor Toolkit is available here (opens as PDF). The toolkit was written by GLC's Samantha Brown, solicitor, and Ailie Doyle, Public Legal Education Officer at Govanhill Law Centre.


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