Factors and unsolicited services (Out of hours)

Peter Douglas posted on the 14/10/2020 8:12:42 PM

Has anyone else received a charge in their bills from [their factors] for emergency out of hours service? I have challenged this as it is covered under legislation as an Unsolicited Goods & Service but our 'property consultant' seems unable to grasp that they must operate within the law & refuses to return the fee. It's not a huge amount but if they start setting up contracts with external agencies & billing their customers this opens a very bad window of opportunity to continue doing this. Has anyone else been billed for this & or challenged it. We previously had a similar but bigger bill for an asbestos survey which nobody either asked for nor got to see.

#1 - Sentry Residential Management replied on the 3/01/2021 2:14:37 AM

Hi Douglas,

This emergency out of hours service will be specific to your individual building, so no one other than yourself and your co-proprietors would have received this bill. The process for dealing with out of hour emergencies will be explained in your Written Statement of Service and any additional Service Level Agreement, which all property factors are legally required to provide their clients. This procurement of the service is likely to have been initiated by one of your neighbours contacting your factors' out-of-hours repairs number.

I am surprised that your invoice does not provide further details. You have a legal right to request a copy of the contractors invoice, which should provide the further information you require. Your factor may charge a nominal fee for posting/emailing this to you or you can arrange to view it in person free of charge (not sure how this would work given the current pandemic). Also, if you have been charged for an Asbestos Survey, then that is YOUR survey and you should demand a copy is provided to you in a timely manner.

I think your next step should be to read your Statement of Service and then get in touch with your Property Manager to request an explanation. If, following this conversation with your Property Manager, you feel your Factor has acted outwith their remit then you should follow their Complaints Process. If you are unable to reach a satisfactory resolution, you may make a formal complaint to the sectors regulator - The First-tier Tribunal For Scotland (Housing & Property Chamber).

Remember, you always have the option of moving to a new Factor (unless you live in a new-build property, which can be contracted to a particular Factor for period of up to 5 years). The process for doing so will be outlined in your properties Title Deed's. Generally, a vote from the majority of the buildings proprietors is all that is required to affect this change.

I hope this is of some assistance.

Kind regards

Sentry Residential Management (Glasgow) Ltd.

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