UK: A New Dawn For Property Factors In Scotland

Last Updated: 31 May 2011
Article by Michael McGrane and Caroline Drummond

The Property Factors (Scotland) Bill was passed on 3 March 2011 by the Scottish Parliament. It is expected to come into force as The Property Factors (Scotland) Act ("the Act") on or before 1 October 2012.

When it becomes law, the Act will make it an offence to operate as a property factor unless you are registered with the Scottish Ministers. This registration requirement applies to both existing and new property factors. We highlight here what the new regime will mean in practice for property factors, old and new.

What will the Act do?

In short, the Act:-

  • Will provide for a public register of property factors to be set up and maintained by the Scottish Ministers. Operating as a property factor without registration will be an offence carrying a fine (level 5 - currently £5000) and/or imprisonment (maximum six months);
  • Will require the Scottish Ministers to prepare a code of conduct with which registered property factors must comply. The code will establish the minimum standards of practice expected of registered property factors. The code has not yet been published and we do not have a date for publication at the moment;
  • Will set up a disputes procedure for unhappy homeowners who feel that a property factor has failed to carry out its duties or to comply with the code of conduct.

This kind of regulation is new for property factors in Scotland. For many it will simply be a continuation of their current good practice. However, the legislation aims to protect homeowners by bringing those property factors currently providing sub-standard services into line.

Who will need to register?

  • A person (this includes an individual, sole trader, partnership or company) who in the course of their business, manages the common parts of land owned by two or more other persons and used to any extent for residential purposes e.g. the common parts in a tenement;
  • A local authority or housing association which manages the common parts of land used to any extent for residential purposes and owned by either two or more other persons or by the local authority or housing association and one or more other person;
  • A person who, in the course of that person's business manages or maintains land which is available for use (but not owned) by the owners of any two or more adjoining or neighbouring residential properties (this only applies where the title deeds oblige the owners to pay for the management or maintenance cost of that land); and
  • A local authority or housing association which manages or maintains land which is available for use (but not owned) by either the owners of any two or more adjoining or neighbouring residential properties, or the local authority or housing association and the owners of any one or more such properties (this only applies where the title deeds oblige the owners to pay for the management or maintenance cost of that land).

Some practical steps

Getting registered...

  • Applications for registration are to be made to the Scottish Ministers. The style of application form is still to be published but will include details of the properties factored by the applicant and details of the "responsible person" - the applicant in the case of a sole trader or in all other cases, the individual who holds the most senior position within the management structure of the partnership, company or body which is (or is to be) "directly concerned with the control" of the property factor;
  • A registration fee will be payable but the level is not known yet. However the scheme is to be self-financing, not profit making;
  • Successful applicants will be allocated a property factor registered number. The registered property factor must take all reasonable steps to include this registered number in any document sent to a homeowner (or any other documents as the Scottish Ministers may decide);
  • The Scottish Ministers can refuse an application on the basis that the applicant is not a fit and proper person to be a property factor (the Act will include guidelines for this).

After registration...

  • Registration is not for life and property factors will need to actively renew their registration every three years;
  • Registered property factors must (1) advise the Scottish Ministers if details change from the original application and (2) submit a "property return" to the Scottish Ministers three months after the end of each financial year, providing details of any properties factored during that financial year. If there has been no change in the position since the property factor's application/last return this also needs to be confirmed. The Scottish Ministers will be entitled to charge a fee for this (which is still to be set). Failure to comply could attract a fine (level 3 - currently £1,000);
  • Registered property factors must comply with the code of conduct;
  • The Scottish Ministers can remove a property factor from the register if (a) the Scottish Ministers think that the person is no longer a fit and proper person to be registered, (b) the factor has not included its property factor registered number on correspondence, (c) the factor has not complied with the code of conduct or (d) the factor has not complied with a property factor enforcement order made by a homeowner housing committee (see below).

What can an unhappy homeowner do?

The Act will set up a dispute resolution procedure for unhappy homeowners by creating a homeowner housing panel and homeowner housing committees similar to the private rented housing panel and private rented housing committees established by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.

Homeowners can apply to the homeowner housing panel if they think that a property factor has either failed to carry out its duties or failed to comply with the property factor code of conduct.

The president of the homeowner housing panel must then decide whether to reject the application or refer it to a homeowner housing committee. If the committee agrees with the homeowner, it can make a property factor enforcement order requiring the property factor either to take such action as the committee thinks necessary or make a payment to the homeowner. Failure to comply with a property enforcement order carries a fine and is a ground for removal from the register.


The Act will herald a new dawn for property factors and for homeowners whose properties are managed by property factors. From a practical perspective, there is a lot of detail still to be provided by the Scottish Ministers by October 2012 - not least the level of fees and the code of conduct. We will keep you advised.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions