Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Factor?

A Factor is a person or an organisation appointed by the owners in a block of flats to look after the general management and administration of the block, including the maintenance of the common areas. As your Factor, Almond Housing Association is responsible for ensuring that the common parts of the building are well-maintained, kept in good order and repaired.

Your Deed of Conditions will have information on how your Factor is appointed.

What Factoring Services does Almond HA provide?

Factoring Services are the services provided by a Factor. Almond Housing Association provides the four following Factoring Services:

  1. Routine Repairs - Day-to-day repairs in response to requests received.
  2. Planned Maintenance - Work which is done in regular ‘cycles’, for example, the painting of the common parts every 5 years, plus the system of planning in advance for major items of work such as replacing the roof or windows.
  3. Major Repairs - A large job such as replacing the roof or dealing with a dry rot outbreak, which may be urgent or unplanned.
  4. Improvements - Replacing an existing item with something of a better quality, or adding something new to improve the building.
What are the property's 'common areas'?

When you own a flat in a block you have a shared responsibility for the insurance of the building and for the general tidiness and repair of what are known as the ‘common areas’, i.e.:

  • The common structure – such as the roof, walls, gutters and downpipes
  • The ground on which the block is built, surrounding areas belonging to the block including any paths, drying greens, grassed, slabbed or planted areas
  • The entrance, halls and stairs, and any fences and bin stores

These parts or areas are owned by you jointly with the other residents in the building. Each owner has responsibility for the repair and upkeep of these areas and a legal liability, conferred by the Deed of Conditions, which you sign when you buy your flat. The Deed of Conditions sets out in detail your rights, responsibilities and obligations with regard to the common areas of your building and requires that you must appoint a Factor.

As a Factored Owner, what are my responsibilities?

When you own a flat in a block you have a shared responsibility for the insurance of the building and for the general tidiness and repair of what are known as the ‘common areas’, i.e.:

  • the common structure – such as the roof, walls, gutters and downpipes;
  • the ground on which the block is built, surrounding areas belonging to the block including any paths, drying greens, grassed, slabbed or planted areas, plus;
  • the entrance, halls and stairs, and any fences and bin stores.

These parts or areas are owned by you jointly with the other residents in the building.  Each owner has a shared responsibility for the repair and upkeep of these areas and a legal liability under their Deed of Conditions to meet their share of these costs.  The Deed of Conditions sets out in detail your rights, responsibilities and obligations with regard to the common areas of your building and requires that you must appoint a Factor.

How often will I be invoiced for factoring charges?

We send out invoices quarterly, which will detail your share of the following charges where they apply:

  • Management Fee
  • Buildings Insurance
  • Rechargeable Common Repairs 
  • Cyclical Maintenance 
  • Stair Cleaning Charges
  • Environmental Works
  • Stair Lighting & Close Electricity Charges
  • Major Repairs
How do I pay my factoring charges?

You can pay your factoring charges by cheque or from your bank account by setting up a Standing Order. You can also pay with debit or credit card by calling our office on 01506 439291.

Why do I have to pay a deposit for the factoring service?

When you buy your property from us, or when you buy a flat we already factor, or when you first appoint Almond as your Factor, you will have to pay a deposit which we will keep as a float against the cost of future repairs. 

This deposit will be returned to you, less any repairs or other costs still owed to us, when you sell your property.

What are the service charges?
If you are an Almond tenant you will pay service charges for some items that are not covered by your rent, such as the electricity for stair lighting. These charges are also due from factored owners, and the amounts will be included in the factoring accounts we send you.

Almond has developed a comprehensive Factoring policy. Part of that policy is to ensure that we apply the same high standards to our factored owners as we do to our tenants.
How does Almond HA manage the process?

In providing an effective management and administration service to owners we will:

  • Maintain detailed records of each block and of individual flats;
  • Record full details of repairs and other charges for the common areas of the block;
  • Share out (apportion) the costs for repairs, cyclical and planned maintenance, major repairs and any other services between the owners in a block;
  • Advise owners on and consult with owners, where required, regarding planned maintenance, and major repairs;
  • Set a fair management charge to cover our costs of providing a factoring service to owners;
  • Issue regular accounts to owners, and pro-actively follow up any outstanding payments;
  • Deal with enquiries relating to the factoring service and accounts which have been issued;
  • Provide information about the factoring service to all factored owners either directly by mail or indirectly through articles in our newsletter, Almond View, a copy of which will be sent to each factored owner.
What do I do if I am selling my property?

We appreciate that there is a lot to think about when you are selling your home, and Almond’s factoring services will probably not be top of the list. However, if you are selling in the near future, please let us know.

You should also tell your solicitor and/or estate agent that you receive factoring services from us. Your solicitor/estate agent can then let proposed purchasers and their solicitors know that we provide factoring services. If we know you are planning to move, we can check if you are due a refund of your deposit, or of any standard charges you have paid such as the annual insurance premium, or if you are due any final payments for work carried out etc.

You can let us know by calling our office on 01506 439291 or emailing us at: enquiries@almondha.org.uk quoting your factoring account number in the subject field.

Other questions?

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