Written Statement

We want to be Scotland’s most helpful factor and our Written Statement is key to telling you what that means.

Our vision is to deliver excellence by putting you, our customer, at the heart of everything we do. We commit to provide consistently high quality, responsive services at an affordable price.

We want to be Scotland’s best factor. Our Written Statement of Services is key to telling you what we do and how we do it.

We have a professional, well trained team here to support you. Our business advisors are qualified associate members of the Institute of Residential Property Managers. We have been recognised to Gold Standard by Investors in our People. We have also been independently accredited by Customer Service Excellence for the quality and standard of our services.

We are always striving to do better, to learn from where we have failed you or not met the high standards we set ourselves.

We continually review our services and customer feedback to further develop the services and products we provide.

As part of Wheatley Group, we have a wealth of expertise and resources that help support our services to you. This includes our 24/7 customer contact centre, dedicated legal and debt recovery teams and skilled asset management support. We also use the considerable scale and buying power of the Group to keep the costs of our services as low as possible.

YourPlace is a Registered Property Factor. Our registration number is PF000212.

We have an obligation under the Property Factors (Scotland) Act to be registered as a Property Factor with Scottish Ministers. Part of that registration process includes registering every property we factor. You can review the register at Scottish Property Factor Register.

Our authority to act as your property factor
 

You’ll find everything you need to know about your rights and responsibilities as a factored homeowner in your Deed of Conditions. These conditions are set out in your title deed. It sets out the rules covering the management, maintenance, insurance, repair and improvement of the shared parts of your building. It also sets out the rights and responsibilities of you as owner and us as your property factor.

Your solicitor should have discussed your title deeds with you when you bought your property. YourPlace doesn’t hold copies of your deeds. However, you can get a copy from the Registers of Scotland, who charge for this service. You can contact them by:

There are a number of reasons why YourPlace is your factor. We may:

  • be named as factor in your property’s title deeds
  • have been appointed as the agent of the factor named in your title deeds if it is one of Wheatley Group’s landlords
  • have been appointed as property factor by a majority of owners or your property’s developer
  • or we were already the factor for your property at the time you bought it.

If you want to know more about how we have come to be your factor please get in touch.

The role of the property factor
 

Our role is to act on behalf of you and your neighbours to manage the common parts of your property such as the stairs and landings or shared backcourts. It is a homeowner’s responsibility to make sure the common parts of your building are kept in good condition and we are here to help you do this.

Your title deeds set out specific services and responsibilities for your factor, for example, to arrange buildings insurance, or to maintain common parts and land belonging to you and your neighbours.

However, often homeowners are not clear about the role of the property factor and what we can and cannot do. We will provide advice and support to homeowners where we can, and act for you within the scope allowed in your title deeds. However, what we can do is limited by the role set out for
your factor in the title deeds. We do not have the same powers as social landlords or local authorities so there are some things we can’t do, for example, getting involved in disputes between neighbours or tackling anti-social behaviour involving residents.

If you are unsure about what we can do to help you, please get in touch.

If you’re looking for a good independent resource to help you understand your role and ours, take a look at Under One Roof. The website offers independent advice to flat owners in Scotland.

Our core services
 

We provide core factoring services to you through the management fee we charge. These include:

  • buildings insurance (where your title deeds require there to be a block policy held by your factor)
  • our repairs service that will attend emergency repairs within four hours, with no call-out fee, and other repairs within 15 or 30 days depending on the nature of the issue and work required.

24/7 customer service:

  • through your My YP online account meaning you can report a repair, pay a bill and check your account details when it suits you
  • by calling our customer helpline on 0800 479 7979. We’re available 24/7 so we’re here whenever you need us
  • collecting your neighbours’ share of costs for insurance and works including debt recovery actions
  • arranging owners’ meetings and arranging votes on works
  • project management of complex repairs and cyclical maintenance
  • using our scale and expertise to procure, organise and manage a range of contractors that deliver value for money services when you need them
  • account management
  • providing advice and support, for example, on how to protect your home, how to access available grants, and understand any legislative changes that may affect homeowners
  • keeping you informed through regular newsletters, our website and other communications.

Buildings insurance
 

In most cases your Deed of Conditions will require your property factor to arrange your buildings insurance. This is designed to protect everyone’s interests and means your block is always fully covered in the event of an insured act such as fire or storm damage.

If your Deed of Conditions states that we are required to arrange your buildings insurance, you cannot opt out of the block cover we arrange, it is a legal requirement.

We take our responsibility to arrange buildings insurance very seriously and are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to do this.

Your common charge bill includes details of the cost of your cover, as well as the administration fee we charge for providing this service.

We write to you every year showing details of your cover and what is not covered, your annual premium (paid quarterly and detailed on your common charge bills), any policy excess and details of the insurance provider. We will also tell you the rebuild value. Under our current insurance arrangements this is blanket cover per property up to a rebuild value of £400,000 for most properties.

It is your responsibility as a homeowner to tell us if the rebuild value of your home exceeds £400,000. Our policy will cover higher rebuild values but we need to notify our insurer if this is the case, and we need up to date information from you to do this. We recommend that homeowners get regular valuations of their properties, especially if they are in areas with rapidly increasing property prices, to make sure adequate insurance cover is in place.

To ensure peace of mind for all our customers your property will remain fully insured even if your neighbours default on a payment, as we guarantee to pay the insurer for all properties every month. We take any necessary action to recover any outstanding payments for this service from individual customers. You’ll find more details in our Debt Recovery Policy.

Your policy booklet gives more information on your buildings insurance and how to make a claim. If you can’t find it, just get in touch and we can email or post a copy to you.

YourPlace receives commission from our insurance provider which helps to cover the cost of administering the policy as well as debt recovery. We also have a profit sharing arrangement in place as part of our buildings insurance contract which supports the effective management of this contract, and helps to keep premiums low.

Carrying out repairs and maintenance
 

It is your responsibility as a homeowner to make sure the common parts of your building are kept in good condition and we are here to help you do this.

As your property factor we have delegated authority to complete routine repairs to the common parts of your property up to the consent levels set out in your title deeds. This delegated authority means we can respond to issues quickly, helping to minimise costs and further damage to your property.
The consent levels for your property will be detailed in your Deed of Conditions, part of the title deeds for your property.

When we need permission

We need your permission to go ahead with any repairs where the costs will be higher than the consent limits for your property.

We will contact you and ask you to consider and respond quickly to allow us to process the repair. If we get permission from the majority of owners, as set out in your Deed of Conditions, we will instruct the work to go ahead.

When we don’t need permission

Where there is a risk to health and safety, we can go ahead with necessary repairs to protect all residents and their properties.

Please be aware that we can apply to your local authority to have essential work enforced. This is generally a last resort, as we always strive to reach agreement with you and the other homeowners in your block first.

Your repairs service
 

You can report a repair at any time, in a number of ways:

It’s best to report repairs as soon as you are aware of an issue. This prevents further damage to your property.

If one of Wheatley’s landlords owns a flat in your block, their tenants or staff may report repairs. We can also report repairs if we see a problem.

We will deal with repairs within the following timescales, weather permitting:

  • Emergency repair: an issue that causes immediate risk to health or is likely to cause serious damage to the property or make the property less secure. The aim of the repair will be to make the building safe. Follow up work is likely to be needed.
    Timescale: attend within four hours of the repair being reported and make safe within 24 hours.
  • Appointment repairs: an issue which causes an inconvenience to residents but is not a threat to health and safety. Timescale: completed within 15 days of being agreed.
  • Programmed repairs: day- to-day repairs which are our responsibility but don’t fall into either of the categories above. Timescale: completed within 30 working days of being agreed.

More complex repairs, such as rot or extensive roofing works, can take a bit longer. But we will keep you and your neighbours informed.

Cyclical maintenance

We recommend that homeowners arrange a programme of regular maintenance for items such as regular inspections and routine cleaning of gutters and common water tanks. This helps to ensure the safety of all residents and avoids preventable damage to your home.

Where one of Wheatley Group’s social landlords owns a property in your block a cyclical maintenance programme may already be in place.

If your block doesn’t have a maintenance programme in place, we can arrange this, as long as a majority of owners in your block agree. For more details please contact us.

Major improvement work

To protect your property, make sure it complies with relevant legislation, and help to maintain its value, major improvement works may be required. This could include new roof and render, insulation, upgrade to door entry controls, stair and close refurbishments.

As the representative of all owners in a block we can organise proprietors’ meetings so potential major improvement works can be discussed and voted on. We will organise estimates for works, and project manage agreed works on behalf of you and your neighbours once payment has been received from everyone.

Where one of Wheatley Group’s landlords has an interest in your property they may want to carry out major improvement work in line with their obligations as social or private landlords to protect housing assets and provide high quality homes for their tenants. If this is the case we or the landlord will be in touch to let you know what the works are likely to be and estimated costs. We will then organise a proprietors’ meeting to consult with you about the proposed works. Where the landlord does not have a majority in a block and a vote is required we will organise that in line with your title deeds.

If you want to discuss potential projects with us please get in touch.

We charge a project management fee for these projects, except where they are led by a Wheatley Group landlord.

Service providers

Our repairs provider in the West of Scotland is City Building Glasgow, in the East of Scotland our repairs contractor is Dunedin Canmore Housing Association.

Additional common services
 

Depending on the type of property you live in we also provide the following additional common services:

  • back court maintenance including grass cutting
  • stair and close cleaning
  • stair lighting and door entry maintenance
  • communal electricity which may include meter readings
  • lift and related electrical maintenance
  • warden and concierge services
  • group heating
  • compliance monitoring and testing relating to fire safety, fall safety and water systems
  • land maintenance which can include gardening, landscaping, and the maintenance and insurance of play areas
  • car park lighting, maintenance and permit management
  • solar panel maintenance
  • cyclical maintenance which includes periodic property inspections and services such as gutter cleaning – where one of Wheatley Group’s landlords has an interest in your property or if your block has opted into this service.

Opting-in to common services for your block

If you and your neighbours are interested in any of our additional common services, please get in touch.

If you are interested and the service is available for your block, we will write to all homeowners asking for confirmation of interest and setting out details and the costs of the service.

If a majority of owners confirm that they want the service, we will arrange a meeting to discuss it with you and answer any questions.

If a majority of homeowners vote for the service, we will notify you in writing of the date the service will start.

Optional services
 

Home contents and landlord insurance

We recommend you protect your belongings. Our great value home contents insurance cover, provided in partnership with Aviva and Aon, starts from as little as £1.90 a month, for £8000 standard cover. There’s no claim excess and you don’t need separate cover for large items like TVs. Get in touch for more details.

Boiler and central heating cover

We work with Saltire to bring you a great deal for gas boiler and central heating cover from only £13.33 a month.

Internal repairs

Need a reliable supplier for internal repairs or improvements? YourPlace’s internal repairs service can help. For jobs big or small, from new hot water systems and replastering entire walls, to electrical repairs and much more, our internal repairs service offers a quality service at great value. Request a quote online or call us on 0800 479 7979.


Low cost energy

Prefer to pay less for your energy? Switch to Our Power – a not-for-profit energy supply company – for one of the lowest cost energy tariffs in Scotland. For more on Our Power, how to switch and the tariffs available contact:

Charging arrangements
 

How costs are shared

We divide all service and repairs costs according to your share, as defined in your title deeds and summarised in the Property Services schedule.

Our Management Fee

We charge an annual management fee for each property based on the specific requirements of your block or development. Your title deeds set out how this should be calculated, either as:

  • a flat rate per block or development
  • a percentage of the services delivered.

Your Property Services schedule tells you your current annual management fee, sometimes referred to as your Common Charge or Service Charge.

The management fee covers the cost of providing our core services. The fee itself is based on the management cost per property, staff and business overheads, inflation and the financial return set by our Board each year. YourPlace is a non-profit generating organisation and any surplus we generate is gift-aided to the Wheatley Foundation, Wheatley Group’s charitable foundation.

We review our management fees annually. Our Board sets the fee for the coming year and considers: the market, the economic climate and how this may affect homeowners, demand on our services and our ability to meet this within resources, changing regulations and legislation that may affect homeowners or our sector, and required investment in our services to ensure they are as efficient and effective as possible and will meet changing consumer expectations.

We strive to deliver good value for money services and aim to keep our costs as competitive as possible.

Charges for specific services
We apply a charge for each of the services detailed in your Property Services schedule. This covers the cost of providing the service and is what our contractors charge us. Your Property Services schedule also sets out when you are charged VAT for those services.

We review service charges on an annual basis. When our Board sets the service charges for the coming year, they consider specific contractual arrangements with providers as well as the current rate of inflation.

We don’t receive any additional benefits or commissions from the provision of our services with the following exceptions for two of our services:

  • we receive a small fee for referring customers to our Gas and Boiler Care provider
  • we receive commission on the provision of buidings, home contents and landlords insurance. Full details are on your insurance schedules.

Notice of changes to fees and charges

We give customers one months’ notice of any changes to our management fee and service charges. These are applied from 1 April each year.

Deposits

When you become a customer we take a small deposit. As long as your account is up to date and you don’t have any outstanding debt due to us your deposit will automatically be returned to you if you sell your property or move to another factor.

We ensure a clear separation of funds by keeping all deposits from homeowners separately within our accounting arrangements.

Resales

If you are selling your home, we’ll work with your solicitor to make sure things go smoothly in terms of the management of your property.

We will provide information about your account and your property, including details of any planned works and any outstanding debt. We charge
a fee to cover the administrative cost of providing this information.

Read our Resales Provision of Information Policy.

Customer accounts and billing
 

We are committed to providing you with clear itemised bills.

Each customer has a number of accounts to help you understand what you are being charged and making payments for. They are:

  • Common Charge (sometimes called Service Charge) – this covers your management fee and buildings insurance costs, as well as specific services that apply to your property
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Improvement
  • Home contents insurance.

Charges only apply where you receive the services.

We issue common charge bills quarterly in January, April, July and October by post. These bills include: your quarterly management fee, buildings insurance, and service charges for the specific services provided to your property e.g. stair cleaning.

You can see details of your charges and each account by logging into your My YP account.

If you have repairs or cyclical maintenance carried out to the shared parts of your building, we will send you a separate bill. We aim to issue this bill within one month of the work being carried out. This bill will describe the work that was done, when it was carried out, the total cost of the work and your individual share of that cost due for payment.

Unless detailed in your title deeds, we do not operate floating or contingency funds for your property. On the few properties where we are required to provide this we will contact you separately about the operation of these funds.

If you and the other homeowners in your block request major works to your property, we will need payment in advance before we can start the work.

In these circumstances we hold the funds in trust until the work is completed, or by some other mutually-agreed arrangement.

If you have a query about any charges in any of your bills please contact us.

Ways to pay

More and more customers are paying their bills by Direct Debit, or using our online self-service. People who have made the switch tell us it’s so much easier and convenient.

Our preferred payment method is Direct Debit. It’s quick and easy to set up. Contact us for details.

We offer other payment methods if Direct Debit doesn’t suit you:

  • online at My YP
  • by bank standing order
  • call 0800 479 7979
  • by Paypoint – at any shop or post office displaying the PayPoint sign using the payment barcode on your bill.

Having difficulty paying?

If you have difficulty paying your bill please contact us as soon as possible. We are here to help.

We offer advice and links to organisations that can support you. Our staff can also refer you, with your agreement, to agencies who can offer help and support.

Debt

Our Debt Recovery Policy sets out the steps we will follow where you or your neighbours have failed to make payment. This includes action we will take to recover the debt, including the use of Notice of Potential Liabilities, and court action in order to secure debts against a property or other assets.

We can recover court costs from customers, and under most Title Deeds can also apply interest charges to monies owed. While your title deeds may allow for us to recover debt owed by other homeowners in your block from you and your neighbours, we do not do so.

Customer service commitments
 

We are committed to listening to you and where possible to acting on what you say. We value your opinions and work hard to develop services and standards that meet your needs.

Enquiries

  • We will respond to your letters, faxes, emails and text messages within five working days
  • If for any reason we are unable to deal in full with your enquiry in that time we will inform you of progress every five days, or at a timescale agreed with you
  • We aim to answer your calls within five rings
  • Where we are not able to deal in full with your telephone enquiry at first contact we will do so within one working day, or keep you updated and make a commitment to further contact.

Complaints

Your views are important to us as they let us know how and where we can improve the services we provide. If we have made a mistake, or you are unhappy with our service, we aim to make it as easy as possible for you to tell us.

You can make a complaint to us by email, by phone, in writing, or in person at one of Wheatley Group’s offices.

We have a two stage complaints procedure. We will always try to deal with your complaint at stage one. But if the matter needs a detailed investigation we will tell you this and keep you updated on progress.

Stage one: Resolving your complaint quickly

We will tell you who is responsible for resolving your complaint within two working days of receiving it. We will always try to resolve your complaint quickly, within five working days.

If you are unhappy with our response, you can ask us to consider your complaint at stage two.

Stage two: investigating your complaint

If you are unhappy with our response at stage one, we will review your complaint at stage two. If it is clear that a complaint is more complex, sensitive or needs a detailed investigation or if there is a specific reason why it cannot be resolved quickly we will investigate it as a stage two complaint.

We will acknowledge your complaint within two working days. We will give you our decision as soon as possible. This will be after no more than
20 working days unless there is clearly a good reason for needing more time.

Read more about our complaints process.

We follow Wheatley Group’s Complaints Policy which can be found on our website and on request. It sets out more detail on what you can expect when you raise a complaint with us.

Compliments

We are always delighted to receive any compliments about the services we deliver. Along with complaints and general customer feedback these help us understand the services you want and how you want them delivered.

Code of Conduct for Property Factors
 

If you feel we haven’t complied with the Code of Conduct, you can ask the First Tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) to look at it.

This was set up as part of the The Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011.

Before the tribunal will look at your case, they will expect you to advise them that we have refused to resolve your concerns, or have unreasonably delayed attempting to resolve them. They will also expect you to have notified us in writing why you consider we have failed to carry out our duties.

We will treat your concerns as a complaint and follow our complaints policy and the timelines it sets out.

We will comply with any relevant request for information from the First Tier Tribunal. The Tribunal can make a ‘property factor enforcement order’ requiring us to take action to resolve your concern.

The Tribunal’s contact details are:

Declaration of interest
 

YourPlace is part of Wheatley Group, Scotland’s leading housing, care and property-management group.

Where one of Wheatley Group’s Landlords owns a flat in your block it will have an interest as an owner in the common parts of your block. This means that the Group’s landlords will have rights and responsibilities in terms of looking after and paying for the upkeep of the shared parts of the building.

Where your title deeds identify a Wheatley landlord as the property factor they will have appointed us as their agent to carry out factoring duties on
their behalf.

Our repairs provider in the West of Scotland is City Building Glasgow. City Building Glasgow is 50% owned by Wheatley Group. If your property is in the East of Scotland our repairs contractor is Dunedin Canmore Housing Association which is 100% owned by Wheatley Group.

Ending factoring arrangements
 

Changing property ownership

If you sell your property, you or your solicitor need to contact us as soon as you know the identity of the new owners. If we don’t have this information, we won’t be able to update our records and allocate charges to you and the new owner. Your solicitor should also give us your forwarding address.

Our Resales Provision of Information Policy sets out how we handle requests as part of a property sale and the timescales for providing that information. We charge a fee to cover the administrative cost of providing this information.

Changing service arrangements or factor

Section 4 of the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 allows you to make decisions about your property. If you are thinking about opting out of some common services or changing property factor and ending your relationship with YourPlace, please check your title deeds which will set out the process
you and your neighbours should follow.

In most cases it is straightforward, as long as it is agreed by a majority of the owners within a block. You would ask for a meeting of all property owners to discuss your property management options. At that meeting you and your neighbours would take a vote.

If you decide to opt out of a common service or end your relationship with us altogether, you will need to give 28 days’ notice in writing. A majority of owners will need to agree this decision, unless your title deeds say something different. This will give us time to settle any outstanding accounts, terminate any contractual arrangements related to your block, and at your direction, share relevant information about your property with your new property manager.

Where you decide to appoint a new property manager, and have confirmed this to us in writing, we will work with your new factor to make the transition easier. Subject to Wheatley Group’s data protection policy and wider data protection legislation we will provide information about your block requested by your new property manager, following the timescales for enquiries.

When there is a change of ownership or termination of the factoring arrangement, we will return any funds due to you, less any outstanding debts, when you settle your final bill.

It is your responsibility to cancel any Direct Debits or standing orders for payments to us at this point. It is not our responsibility to automatically return payments that continue to be made to us after your factoring arrangement with us has ended.

You can find more information about this process by speaking to one of our staff.

Ending factoring arrangements
 

Withdrawal of factoring services

In extreme cases, we may have to consider withdrawing some or all factoring services. This may be as a result of non-payment of debt.

In these cases, we would write to affected homeowners to make them aware of our intention, along with the process and timescales involved. We will give 28 days’ notice that we plan to withdraw our core factoring service. This will give homeowners time to arrange alternative factoring provision including buildings insurance if appropriate.