ABOUT US

We are a small team of 3 Property & Estate Management (P&EMS) Officers:

  • Christine Wilson / Ray Edmonstone
  • Jim Noble
  • Marlene Roger

and a dedicated Administrator for the team:

  • Emma Lawie

The Officers split their time between site visits and office-based work. They carry out site visits to over 160 schemes, approximately 130 of which are inspected every month.

If you’d like your Officer to visit your scheme for a specific reason please get in touch so we can arrange this.

Between them our team have decades of experience in the social landlord and housing sector across a range of services.  This helps us in our commitment to providing you with a competitive, customer focused and value for money service that we can be proud of.

WHAT WE DO

We oversee the provision of a range of factoring services to Grampian Housing Association, Kirkgate, other local Housing Associations, shared owners and private customers.

Typically, such services include stair cleaning, bulk bin cleaning & window cleaning (in flatted developments), open space maintenance (landscaping) and repairs to communal areas.

The cleaning service to many of our schemes in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire is provided by an “in-house” mobile team. In rural areas these services are mainly provided by our rural cleaners.  In the Elgin and Moray areas our in-house Caretaking Team provide these services in the majority of our schemes.

Where some or all services are provided to a scheme by a third-party external Factor/Management Company, we handle some basic administration such as processing invoices, circulation of relevant correspondence and information to our customers and act as a liaison if there are areas of concern or issues to address.

HOW WE CHARGE FOR OUR SERVICES

The costs of these services are charged directly to customers in the form of a factoring service charge.

Currently, Grampian Housing Association ‘front funds’ all of the relevant charges incurred in the provision of both our in-house services and those provided by third parties.  We review all of these charges annually across the organisation for all customers including tenants, owners and shared owners and at the start of each financial year, your annual charge will be advised to you, you may pay this monthly or annually.  These charges will cover the cost of the previous year’s services – this way you will always pay an actual cost and not an estimated cost.*

This effectively means your costs have already been paid by Grampian Housing Association and your factoring service charge is to recover these payments.  We add a 15% administration fee to any major or extraordinary works such as communal block redecoration works or roof repairs.  These repairs are normally dealt with separately and charged outwith your annual service charge. 

The annual service charge review will provide you with a complete breakdown of all the services your scheme/block has been provided with for the previous 12-month period and show the actual costs of these and whether they have been provided by an in-house team or an external contractor/supplier.

A factoring fee is applicable for every factored customer dependent on whether you receive some or all of the following services;

  1. Open Space Maintenance (Landscaping)
  2. Communal Cleaning
  3. Communal Repairs

*Estimated costs may apply in the case of brand new developments for up to the first 12 months of operation.

MEMBERSHIPS & QUALIFICATIONS

Our team are always working towards improving and increasing their knowledge and ensuring they keep up to date with ever changing legislation.

The Association is a member of the Property Managers Association Scotland Limited (PMAS) which promotes high standards of property management amongst its members.

Currently, two of our Officers are members of The Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) which is a professional body for residential property management specialists and provides nationally accredited qualifications, guidance and resources to assist property managers with their roles. 

We adhere to the Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 Code of Conduct for Property Factors which came about as a result of the Scottish Government’s acknowledgement of, and commitment to “improve the condition of Scottish tenements to ensure that Scotland’s housing stock can continue to provide safe and sustainable homes for the future.”

Grampian Housing Association is a member of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and a significant number of our staff are also members of the Chartered Institute for Housing (CIH).

Grampian Housing Association itself is the largest housing association based in the North East of Scotland.

NOT JUST A SOCIAL HOUSING LANDLORD

We also work for and with our subsidiary organisations. 

Let’s Choose

The brand for Kirkgate’s homes for mid-market and market rent properties.  For more information on Let’s Choose please click here.

TLC Housing Maintenance

A wholly owned subsidiary of Grampian Housing Association currently providing kitchen and bathroom installations in our tenanted properties.  TLC can also provide other repairs and maintenance services for all customers such as paint works and electrical works.  We are continuing to increase TLC’s remit and in the future hope to have them carrying out a broad range of repair & maintenance works on our behalf.  For more information on TLC please click here.

CONTACT US

You can reach your Officer by email to discuss issues relating to your factoring account, the sale or purchase of your property or to request they check a specific issue at their next site visit to your scheme/block.

Christine Wilson / Ray Edmonstone      ray.edmonstone@grampianhousing.co.uk

Marlene Roger                                       marlene.roger@grampianhousing.co.uk

Jim Noble                                               jim.noble@grampianhousing.co.uk

If you are unsure who your Officer is, or have a general query please direct this in the first instance to factoring@grampianhousing.co.uk 

To report a repair please contact repairs@grampianhousing.co.uk or call the Customer Response Unit on 01224 202900.

If you are a sharing owner and have a query regarding your ownership please contact sales@grampianhousing.co.uk

If you have any queries about the factoring services provided by the Association or if you are interested in asking us to provide your scheme/block with a factoring service please contact the Customer Response Unit on 01224 202900 or email factoring@grampianhousing.co.uk

Alternatively write to: Grampian Housing Association, Huntly House, 74 Huntly Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1TD.

USEFUL DOCUMENTS

P&EMS Written Statement of Services 2022-23

Debt Recovery (Factoring) Policy

Summary of Changes

FAQs

See below for some of our most commonly asked questions.

Can I meet with you in person to discuss my issue?

Since the impact of COVID we have changed the way we work.  Our Administrator now permanently works from home and our Officers work a blended approach of site visits, some office time (usually one or two days a week) and working from home.  We’d be happy to arrange a phone appointment or to come and visit you on site where possible.  If you prefer an office visit this can be arranged but must be agreed in advance.

Why do I have to pay a factor at all?

The Title Deeds or Deed of Conditions which forms part of your property titles provides for the appointment of managing agents or Factor to manage the common parts.  As factor we inspect your scheme/block to ensure that the common areas are well maintained and that there are no health & safety hazards arising as a result of disrepair.  We also oversee large scale repairs or upgrades such as roof repairs or communal redecoration. 

I think you charge too much

You pay actual costs incurred for the annual factoring provision for your scheme/development/block.  We include a 15% administration fee when dealing with any major or extraordinary repairs or upgrades.

We charge a factoring fee based on the number of services you receive.  This is standard within the industry and may be alternatively known as a Management Fee.  We only charge for services your scheme/block receives and because you are charged in arrears you are not paying an estimated cost.

I’m struggling financially due to a change in circumstances and now I can’t pay my factor fee

Our P&EMS Officers want to help and will work with you if you are experiencing financial difficulty.  As well as being able to do things like agreeing a repayment arrangement that better suits you, or agreeing to a payment holiday for a set period of time, they may be able to signpost you to other support services.  We have dedicated in-house teams known as SMART (money advice project) and Assist (housing support) who may also be able to help you.  Please reach out for support or advice if you need it.

How do I report a repair?

Common area repairs such as door entry systems or faulty lights should be reported to repairs@grampianhousing.co.uk or telephoned into the office on 01224 202900.  Our colleagues in the Customer Response Unit will be able to assist.

Do you do repairs inside shared ownership/owned flats within your blocks, i.e. for damp?

No – you are responsible as an owner for all repairs within your property.

What if I think that damage is being caused by a neighbour or an issue from the common area?

If you believe there is an issue in the common area that may be contributing to, or causing damage your own property (i.e. a leak from the roof or guttering) you can contact your P&EMS Officer who can carry out an inspection.  We will arrange to repair and make good any common area faults.  However, as an owner you would still be responsible for making good any damage inside your own property regardless of the cause and if necessary making a claim through buildings insurance.

We recently got a quote for works to our scheme/block, I know I could get it cheaper if I found my own contractor.

We have a robust procurement and tendering process that all our external contractors go through.  By the time you are being provided with quotes, we have already undergone either a tender or procurement exercise.

A part of this process is ensuring our contractors have adequate staff provision, training, equipment, permits and all the correct insurance coverage.  When tendering for contractors we look for those that provide the best combination of quality and price of service.

I have an external third-party factor for my scheme/block – why are you involved at all?

Third party factors are often appointed by the developers of a property and are already in place when the developer hands over the scheme/block to us.

In some cases, private owners are billed directly by their third-party factor and Grampian Housing Association is not involved.  However, in many cases we have a majority interest in (ownership of) some or all of the properties/common land within a scheme/block and we would be the customer of a third-party factor as a result.

My third-party factor is no good, why don’t you get rid of them or get the service improved?

Grampian Housing Association can only remove a factor from a scheme/block without consultation if that scheme/block is wholly rented.

For schemes/blocks that have a mixed tenure, or are made up of only sharing or private owners then as owners you have the deciding vote.  You should check your title deeds for more information on this process as often a majority vote is required.

We inspect schemes where services are provided by both our own contractors and by third-party factors.  If the service is found to be lacking then we will follow this up and take it further.  Please keep in mind in some cases it may be that the third-party factor for your own scheme is meeting their commitments according to the service agreement and that you are expecting works to be carried out that are not provided.

My neighbours are anti-social/noisy/difficult, can you do anything to help?

Not if your neighbour is an owner.  We have no authority to address an owner if they are anti-social or otherwise causing a disruption.  You should report any suspected criminal activity to the police directly.  Advice on reporting or dealing with anti-social behaviours is available online and depending on your location you may be able to report certain behaviours to your local authority.

We can help if your neighbour is a tenant of Grampian Housing Association, your P&EMS Officer will be able to put you in touch with the relevant colleague.

Why should I pay to have dog fouling uplifted when I don’t have a dog or for items removed from the bin store that are dumped by someone else?

Dog fouling and the dumping of items in the common hallways or in the bin stores out with the bulk bins is an all too common problem and presents one of the biggest issues we have to deal with in some of our schemes.

Unfortunately, if we cannot identify the individual responsible for letting a dog foul, or for dumping items that are not uplifted as part of the regular bin collections then we must arrange to remove these for health & safety reasons and we pass the cost on to every property within the scheme/block.

Can we change the factor at our scheme/block (even if it’s GHA)?

Yes.

If your scheme/block is fully or mixed shared ownership/privately owned and you are unhappy with the service or feel you can get a better more cost-effective service elsewhere you can, normally by a majority agreement, have the existing factor removed.  You should check your title deeds for the conditions around this process.

If you are in a mixed tenure or fully rented scheme/block then Grampian Housing Association will have the right to vote for or against this on behalf of the rented properties.

I’ve been speaking with a neighbour who lives in the same scheme but in a different block/street and they are paying less/more than me, why is that?

As part of the annual service charge review, the services provided to every scheme/block are broken down into:

  • Common internal & external repairs
  • Scheme wide repairs
  • Open space maintenance
  • Communal lighting (known as stair lighting)
  • Fire safety maintenance
  • Common area cleaning which includes bulk bins and windows where relevant

Each scheme/block pays for the services they have received.  It may be they have had less common area repairs, less environmental upkeep (uplift of dumped items, dog fouling etc) or that their scheme/block has a smaller open space area that requires less maintenance.

I have buildings insurance through you, will this pay for my repair?

Buildings insurance will not pay to repair damage or degradation that has occurred as a result of normal wear and tear or breakdown/failure of parts.  Insurance is there to provide coverage in the case of damage caused by events such as a leak from the roof or a broken washing machine leaking into a neighbouring property.  In some cases, your policy may pay for works undertaken to trace the source of a fault (i.e. to identify the location of a roof leak) but it may not cover the cost of the repair to the damaged section of roof.

Your policy may cover repairing malicious damage caused by someone smashing a window for example. You should contact the insurers directly if you have a query regarding what is covered.

If you have additional questions that aren’t covered here, please click here, or you can email us directly at factoring@grampianhousing.co.uk.

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