Tenement Life

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Re: Tenement Life

Postby Delmont St Xavier » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:16 pm

In short the answer is 'yes'. You the onus would be on you to prove, either by independent report or other substanstiated evidence that the work is 'not fit for purpose.' If you have concerns - write a letter and post it by recorded delivery but the best way to have any such creedance to this is to get a majority to back you, sign their names to a communal letter and refuse or withhold payment. It doesn't mean you'll automatically win but you shake them up.

I've previously written on here of shoddy work, duplicated bills etc, and my action was to get a majority of owners by having a 'stair heid' meeting and we ousted the factor - I done all the leg work and letter writing (recorded delivery) and I have to update this forum - our new factor is absolutely exceptional as they produce bills that are clear and transparent, they attend to issues raised promptly and the standard of work is good.

Remember you have the right to sack your factor but if you don't at least hold them to account - you're the boss, remind them that they are the 'agents'...on your behalf.
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Re: Tenement Life

Postby Dot » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:34 pm

DSX,

Just curious as there was some work done at a relatives flat. Factor got three quotes and huge difference between them.
Cheapest quote was picked and although job completed I thought standard was disappointing.

Doubt other residents really care with it being a job near staircase rather than outside their own doors.
Some of the flats have residents who have been there for a while while others are rented out.

Thanks for the information and was interested in your comments.
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Re: Tenement Life

Postby Delmont St Xavier » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:51 pm

Dot

The main thing is if you own a flat or a relative does - he/she has to make the others take an interest!

I watch the guy upstairs wash and polish his car but he never cleaned the close, never tidied up his cat litter he spilled. My argument with him - what's the point of cleaing a car and keeping it spick and span - it loses value every day - whereas the value of your home has dropped but it will regain in value - your car will be scrapped. I tried to highlight to him where his priorities should lie as to value and investments....but he's as thick as mince until his Mammy came to visit and kicked his ass....
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Re: Tenement Life

Postby The Egg Man » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:14 pm

Dot wrote:If a Factor got quotes for a job in a communal area do residents still have to pay if work isn't up to scratch?


I disagree with Delmont to an extent. The only person/ body obliged to pay a contractor for work done is the one who instructs the work and only then if they are happy with the standard of the work.

If, as Demont says, you can prove the work isn't up to scratch, you have an arguable defence.
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Re: Tenement Life

Postby The Egg Man » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:35 pm

There's a worthwhile thread on Martin Lewis' website forum about Glasgow tenements with particular reference to the cost, or at least the charge, applied via a commercial factor for buildings insurance. Reports of £500-£1000 via certain well-known names are common whilst the equivalent cover via a registered social landlord might only be £80.00.
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Re: Tenement Life

Postby Dot » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:35 pm

Thanks Egg Man & DSX for the replies.

Perhaps I am just being too fussy but first time I saw completed work just felt it wasn't great.
Nothing like a health and safety issue or anything just the finish really.
My OH even said he could probably have done a better job and he doesn't work in building trade.
Quite good at certain DIY jobs though.
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Re: Tenement Life

Postby The Egg Man » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:37 pm

Then contest it. If nothing else you might make the factor reconsider using that firm again.

Edited to add. Some firms appoint contractors on a 3 or 5 year basis on the supposed grounds it mitigates the cost of tendering each and every piece of work. Some contractors treat this a medium term opportunity to print money. Commercial factors typically apply a % uplift 'admin' charge and so aren't especially bothered about this.
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Re: Tenement Life

Postby RDR » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:31 am

The Egg Man wrote:Then contest it. If nothing else you might make the factor reconsider using that firm again.
Edited to add. Some firms appoint contractors on a 3 or 5 year basis on the supposed grounds it mitigates the cost of tendering each and every piece of work. Some contractors treat this a medium term opportunity to print money. Commercial factors typically apply a % uplift 'admin' charge and so aren't especially bothered about this.


My experience with a large and well known Glasgow factor doesn't suggest this is always the case.
Several of us complained about a particular company they were using for grounds maintainence. We asked they review the work and come and observe the standard of work. There answer was they couldn't supervisor every contractor they employed (which was not what they were asked). It transpired the work had never been tendered for and whilst it wasn't a legal requirement given the value of the work, it might have been good practice. As it is you are left with an overwhelming impression that the factor has a 'cosy' relationship with that contractor.
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Re: Tenement Life

Postby Delmont St Xavier » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:19 am

The Egg Man wrote:
Dot wrote:If a Factor got quotes for a job in a communal area do residents still have to pay if work isn't up to scratch?


I disagree with Delmont to an extent. The only person/ body obliged to pay a contractor for work done is the one who instructs the work and only then if they are happy with the standard of the work.

If, as Demont says, you can prove the work isn't up to scratch, you have an arguable defence.


Unfortunately, I think you'll find that stance to be incorrect. Communal buildings and repairs to those parts thereof are the responsibility of the owners and quite often it will be one individual flat that will request work on a communal area - therefore the burden is between all the owners and there isn't an opt out clause. Most 'Deeds' and contracts of 'agency' will highlight this if you look closely at the arrangements/agreements.

We had issues and in some ways still do where the co-owners do not communicate with each other and as a result there is a breakdown in communication. It is not the first time that I've went out my front door to see a contracter coming in to fix a roof tile because the top floor flat is getting water in....I'm responsible for 1/6th of the cost of that whether I or another phoned the factor and that's quite clear in my deeds. The Govan Law Centre has a small but helpful guide on Factoring matters and responsibilities. If you want to get round the problem of not knowing what's being repaired, etc in your close is to form a Tenants Association within your close and get the majority (in my case 4) to agree to share information i.e. 'We called the factor for....'. Of course this requires the majority to play their part but in our case there is one young guy, who lives in Mummy's property portfolio who doesn't give a shit...

However, I would strongly urge that you challenge everything and for information - we moved from a well known commercial company to a social landlord and immediately cut our Buildings Insurance by well over £1200 per year to £67 per year! You can guess our bills are virtually paid for by that saving alone.....
"Listen, it's too big a world to be in competition with everyone. The only person who I have to be better than is myself. And in your case, that's enough."
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Re: Tenement Life

Postby Sunflower » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:36 am

Dot wrote:If a Factor got quotes for a job in a communal area do residents still have to pay if work isn't up to scratch?

Notwithstanding any of the previous answers...

Factors won't even start any work until everyone has paid their share of the quote. Or the cost falls below some level that can be covered from the float payments. So the question of not paying because the work is unsatisfactory doesn't arise. The horse has already bolted. Trying to get anything done about a job that's already been paid for is just a recipe for mutual incomprehension and screaming frustration.

RDR's factor's obviously right (as well as irrelevent) that they can't supervise every contractor, but it's a huge defect in the whole factor/contractor/owner loop that there's no mechanism for work to be signed off before it's paid for.
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Re: Tenement Life

Postby The Egg Man » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:26 pm

I stand corrected. I'd rather thought commercial factors were just trying it on but if it's the case they have the power to behave like this, it's time everyone who can moved to a registered social landlord as factor.
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Re: Tenement Life

Postby Delmont St Xavier » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:53 pm

Sunflower wrote:
Dot wrote:If a Factor got quotes for a job in a communal area do residents still have to pay if work isn't up to scratch?

Notwithstanding any of the previous answers...

Factors won't even start any work until everyone has paid their share of the quote. Or the cost falls below some level that can be covered from the float payments. So the question of not paying because the work is unsatisfactory doesn't arise. The horse has already bolted. Trying to get anything done about a job that's already been paid for is just a recipe for mutual incomprehension and screaming frustration.

RDR's factor's obviously right (as well as irrelevent) that they can't supervise every contractor, but it's a huge defect in the whole factor/contractor/owner loop that there's no mechanism for work to be signed off before it's paid for.


Actually you are correct to a point - when it is a commercial factor the work will not generally commence until 'monies paid up front' but as is the case with our new factor who is a 'social housing provider' they will instruct repairs if necessary and then gather in the monies. It was something that was both attractive but caused some aprehension with their appointment but they look after the best interests of the investments and property - not the people! This approach is common sense and it is clearly in our contractural agreement - unless the majority vote against it but we signed up on this principal.

I'm not an expert by any means but with the 'legwork and homework' that I had to undertake in changing over from commercial to social factoring, I've gained a fair wee bit of knowledge and understanding of the different acts and thank the Gods for the Tenement Acts of 2004, etc....

If anyone is inspired to change from commercial to social and needs help - only too willing to lend a hand.
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Re: Tenement Life

Postby The Egg Man » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:06 pm

I believe some registered social landlords are now publishing planned major repairs schedules so that it's possible to explain to the residents of any given close or block 'your roof is scheduled to be replaced in 20XX and the total cost is expected to be c£XXXXX. Your share is likely to be £YYYY'.

Some even go as far as offering saving schemes with the money held in a specific account for this purpose.
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Re: Tenement Life

Postby Sunflower » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:22 am

Delmont St Xavier wrote:Actually you are correct to a point - when it is a commercial factor the work will not generally commence until 'monies paid up front' but as is the case with our new factor who is a 'social housing provider' they will instruct repairs if necessary and then gather in the monies.

That is really interesting - not least because the commercial factors routinely brush off objections to the way they do things by saying 'We're not a bank'. As well as being a mega-incentive to change to the other kind, the fact that there are factors who can do things differently makes a powerful argument for the commercial factors to change their ways.

(I am wondering how they manage to bridge the gap between the contractors being paid the the owners all coughing up?)

delmont St Xavier wrote:If anyone is inspired to change from commercial to social and needs help - only too willing to lend a hand.

Can you tell us who you changed to?
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Re: Tenement Life

Postby The Egg Man » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:33 am

Sunflower wrote:
Delmont St Xavier wrote:Actually you are correct to a point - when it is a commercial factor the work will not generally commence until 'monies paid up front' but as is the case with our new factor who is a 'social housing provider' they will instruct repairs if necessary and then gather in the monies.

That is really interesting - not least because the commercial factors routinely brush off objections to the way they do things by saying 'We're not a bank'. As well as being a mega-incentive to change to the other kind, the fact that there are factors who can do things differently makes a powerful argument for the commercial factors to change their ways.

(I am wondering how they manage to bridge the gap between the contractors being paid the the owners all coughing up?)

...............................


RSL's tend to have designated reserves for just such situations. As Delmont said (above) it's about the best interests of the investments and property. That's not to say they won't use all available remedies to recoup the % of the costs attributed to any dissenting owners.
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