Property factor registration
We introduced compulsory property factor registration as a means of providing minimum industry standards, to better protect homeowners who use factoring services.
It applies to all residential property and land managers, whether they are private sector businesses, councils or housing associations.
All property factors must register at the Scottish Property Factor Register website. Failure to do so is an offence.
Guidance for property factors registering for the first time, and for property factors who are currently or have previously been registered is available.
Maintaining the register
We maintain the register which involves:
- deciding whether an applicant should be entered on the property factor register, including the application of a 'fit and proper person' test
- ensuring that the property factor registration fees for each approved application are received
- considering any proposed changes by property factors to information included on the register
- monitoring compliance in relation to property factors completing their annual property and land portfolio update
- considering and pursuing enforcement action where a property factor is failing to comply
- considering reports about unregistered property factors
Accuracy of the information on the register
The accuracy of the information held on the register is subject to the following conditions:
- it is the responsibility for each registered property factor to ensure that the information it provides for display on the register is accurate within the requirements of the Act
- it is the responsibility for each registered property factor to ensure that their list of properties and land factored is updated each year by 30 June. The information they must provide relates to the previous financial year.
So the information held on the register may, in some cases, not be 'live'. This means that at any given time, a property or land record listed on the register may no longer be factored by that property factor and conversely it may not show a property or land record which is currently factored.
The Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011
Registration was brought in by the Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011, which came into force on 1 October 2012. The Act provides a statutory framework to protect homeowners who use factoring services by providing minimum standards for property factors.
The Act also introduced:
- a code of conduct for property factors that sets out minimum standards of practice with which all registered property factors are statutorily obliged to comply. The Scottish Government consulted on proposals to revise the code of conduct. Read the Minister's blog.That consultation is now closed and the analysis of responses is expected to be completed later in 2018. Following this analysis, the Scottish Government may decide to amend the code of conduct and lay a revised version for the approval of the Scottish Parliament in accordance with the Act.
- a route for redress to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber, an independent judicial body separate from Scottish Ministers and councils. Homeowners can apply to the chamber if they believe their registered property factor has failed to comply with the code of conduct or otherwise failed to carry out their factoring duties. Before making an application, homeowners must notify their factor in writing of their complaint and allow their factor an opportunity to resolve the matter. The code of conduct requires factors to have an in-house complaints handling procedure which homeowners would be expected to follow