Keeping up appearances

It’s nice to have things taken care of. A professional property manager, or factor, works for every owner in a development: organising tradesmen for common repairs and maintenance including cleaning, gardening and grass cutting of common areas.


What are the common property areas?

A common property areas such as woodland, landscaped areas and public areas don’t belong to one specific owner. Factors typically take care of items such as maintenance of woodland, public play equipment, grass cutting, and road sweeping.

Why look after common property areas?

It’s important a development is well kept. A scruffy development is not only unpleasant for residents, but can discourage purchasers. A run down development eventually becomes much more expensive to maintain. A little care can keep your property looking good and generally make your development a pleasant place to live.

What is a factor’s function? 

We appoint the right factor for your development. The factor will make decisions on your behalf and organise the work for you. Remember that you can let the factor know about any work you think needs to be done.

How does the factor operate? 

The rules for undertaking factoring duties for your development are detailed in a Deed of Conditions. Your solicitor should provide this document at the time of purchase. It’s important. Make sure you read it.


How is the factor paid? 

An invoice for your share of maintenance and management fees is normally issued either quarterly or six-monthly.

What is a float? 

It’s important a factor can pay for work promptly when required. A float or fund of money paid by each property owner at settlement allows the factor to do this without the heavy burden of expense. Prompt payments ensure the best contractors are keen to do work for your development. This can be recovered if you decide to sell your property.

What is a Major Maintenance Fund?

A Major Maintenance Fund is normally set aside to ‘save up’ for larger maintenance items authorised by the owners within the development.

Who determines how much the owners pay into the fund? 

Each owner is a member of the residents association. How much the owners pay into the fund is discussed at the residents association or executive committee meetings. Normally quotes for work are agreed first. From this an educated estimate can be made.


What is the advantage of a Major Maintenance Fund? 

By saving up for major works, you don’t have large invoices to settle. A debt can be spread over the development, so the money is available before the work starts.

Will the factor run up large bills? 

No. Don’t worry. The factor will have the authority to carry out work to the communal areas provided that the anticipated cost of any one item doesn’t exceed that amount. This limit can be exceeded in an emergency. Otherwise, estimates will be obtained and distributed. Instructions will be taken from you and your neighbours or the residents association representing you before any extraordinary works are carried out. If payments are required in advance, you will always be notified.

Who is responsible for the roads?

Roads are the responsibility of the local council. After construction, the Council will adopt the roads and their associated drainage, including SUDS.