INTRODUCTION TO THE CONSULTATION
The Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011: Draft Code of Conduct
The Property Factor Code of Conduct is one of the central provisions of the Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 and its aim is to set minimum statutory standards of practice for the property and land management industry.
Provisions of the Code
Property factors have a complex and wide-ranging role and for this reason the Code is organised into eight sections:
1. General obligations
2. Written statement of services
3. Communication and consultation
4. Financial obligations
5. Debt recovery
7. Carrying out repairs and maintenance
8. Complaints resolution
The Code is designed to be reasonable and realistic, and most of the individual standards are short, straightforward statements. Some of the standards (for example those relating to the provision of insurance) will not be relevant to all property and land managers.
The Code is underpinned by the principle of transparency so that homeowners are clear about what they are paying for, how the charges were arrived at and the routes available in the event that they wish to make a complaint.
Building on the voluntary accreditation standards
The starting point in developing the Code was the standards prepared for the voluntary accreditation scheme for property and land managers which we consulted on during 2010. The accreditation standards were intended as a model of good practice and they had been developed in partnership with a group of key stakeholders representing the industry, consumers and other relevant bodies. In the course of this work the group gave careful consideration to a range of material, in particular the findings of the 2009 Office of Fair Trading market study of the property and land management market in Scotland. 1
As part of the process of developing the Code and implementing the Act, an Equalities Impact Assessment and a Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment will be prepared and published later this year.
It is intended that the Code will be reviewed at an appropriate period after introduction to ensure that its provisions are appropriate and effective. Any necessary changes or adjustments would be made in the light of our experience of operating the Code.
This consultation will run for a period of 12 weeks, opening on Monday 26 September and closing on Friday 16 December. We hope you will take this opportunity to respond.
We intend to hold a series of consultation workshops for property factors and for homeowners/members of the public during the consultation period. Further details will be published shortly on the Consultation section of our website.