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COVID-19 Customer Update  19/03/21

Following the Scottish Government announcement on Tuesday, 16th March 2021, regarding continued COVID -19 restrictions, we are providing the following update.

Risk assessed compliance

As an organisation we continue to ensure that we have all the correct measures in place to deliver services to our customers.  Over the past year we have invested to ensure our team can work from home, providing additional communications systems and IT for this to happen.

Our offices remain closed to the public, with only a small number of staff in head office, for essential work to be carried out (e.g., post etc).

As a result of the first lockdown in March 2020, we have established a comprehensive risk assessed approach to ensuring our staff can work in the safest possible way and this will continue to shape how we work during this current lockdown period. The majority of our staff will continue to work remotely but will be fully operational, working to ensure the very best level of customer service at all times.

Site inspections and on site attendance

We plan to resume a phased return to site inspections on 26th April when travel restrictions are removed.

Where our staff are needed on site, they will have had risk assessments completed.  Where possible they will limit movement within common areas to outside core times in the day, to restrict interaction with others.  We would ask that all safe distancing measures for our staff are respected, when working on your site.

On site offices will be closed for access by homeowners and only our staff will be allowed access.

Please contact your Development Manager for information, as arrangements for each location/site may vary.

Suppliers and contractors

Our suppliers and contractors will work in compliance with Government Guidelines to deliver core services, repairs and maintenance.

We know that during this lockdown period, essential work is permitted ‘for activities in connection with the maintenance, purchase, sale, letting, or rental of residential property that the person owns or is otherwise responsible for’. This will be subject to the contractor’s own organisation’s measures and approach.

Planned improvement works remain suspended until further notice, other than for essential/urgent work, such as a roof refurbishment. This suspension will be subject to the requirements of future Scottish Government updates.  Please contact your Development Manager for confirmation as to whether any work already agreed is going ahead.

Communication routes

Communication routes from you to us remain active and diverts remain in place to ensure that communications are received and actioned.  You can therefore continue to contact James Gibb through the normal routes and be assured that the provision of core services, repairs and maintenance will continue.

Email communication

We would remind all homeowners that during this time, our aim is to communicate with you via email wherever possible.  We ask that homeowners, who have not already done so, contact us at enquiries@jamesgibb.co.uk to provide us with their email address. We recognise that some homeowners will not have this form of communication and you may wish to discuss with friends or family members, if they can assist.

James Gibb+ portal

We have also increased our communication flow via our website and request that as many homeowners as possible access their James Gibb+ portal, where you will receive all information regarding your account.

James Gibb+ accounts can be accessed via our website www.jamesgibb.co.uk.  You will need your account number and JG+ number, which can be found on your most recent invoice.

At James Gibb, we were hoping that by this time we would be reporting better news, but rest assured that as soon as Government restrictions allow, normal service will be resumed.  In the meantime, although we must limit contact to protect our staff and our customers, please know that James Gibb will continue to carry out the factoring service for your development.

We hope that our customers, clients and team are safe during these exceptionally difficult times.

Regards
Directors Office

FAQs

At James Gibb we fully understand how difficult it can be to access relevant advice and information quickly and at a time when you most need it. 

To make life easier, we have collated the answers to questions our homeowners most frequently ask.

We request that homeowners write to our head office at Glasgow Bellahouston, to notify us of any account amendments, including changes to your postal address, contact email address or telephone numbers.   You can do this by writing to us by post or you can send an email to enquiries@jamesgibb.co.uk  For Data Protection purposes, please be advised that only the registered homeowner can discuss any changes to an account or request any services, unless we have written agreement from the legal homeowner specifying otherwise.

James Gibb+

You do not require a specific username to access James Gibb+.  You will be allocated an account number and James Gibb+ reference number (JG + ref) which will allow you access.

You do not require a specific password, you can locate your account number and JG + ref number on all correspondence issues by our office such as a welcome pack, letter or invoice etc.

Once you have logged into your James Gibb+ account online, you can click on ‘Add Property’.  If an error is generated, please call our office on 0333 240 8325 for help.

Yes! All development news blogs are viewable on James Gibb+ keeping you up to date with what is happening within your development.

James Gibb+ App

Our James Gibb+ App is free to download at the Apple Store or Google Play Store.

Yes!  All documents are viewable on the James Gibb+ App, as well as through the main James Gibb+ client web portal via www.jamesgibb.co.uk.

You do not require a specific username to access James Gibb+.  You will be allocated an account number and James Gibb+ reference number (JG + ref) which will allow you access via the App.

Yes! Once logged on to the James Gibb+ App, select the Make a Payment option which will lead you to the Sage Pay payment screen.  Payments made via the James Gibb+ App are immediately recorded on your account. 

Most but not all contractor invoices for your service charge account can be viewed on the James Gibb+ App, as well as through the main James Gibb+ client web portal, via www.jamesgibb.co.uk.

Yes! All development news blogs are viewable on the James Gibb+ App keeping you up to date with what is happening within your development.

Yes! James Gibb will send a notification to your device to let you know a news blog has been updated, making it easy for you to keep up to date with what is happening within your development.

Yes! A notification will be sent to your device to let you know a new invoice is due for payment.

Online Payment

Yes!  You can pay online using the James Gibb+ portal at www.jamesgibb.co.uk.  On our website, click on the James Gibb+ portal logo and follow the instructions.  Our secure customer portal also allows you to view invoices and payments, as well as offering useful development information.

We highly recommend and promote e-billing as part of our Environmental Policy!  To register for e-billing please contact us by email at enquiries@jamesgibb.co.uk to specify this request and provide your preferred email address.  We will issue all correspondence by email unless requested otherwise and please be mindful that some email domains may consider our emails as ‘junk’, therefore please check your mail account and junk folder to ensure you have received our correspondence and contact our office on 0333 240 8325 should you experience any issues.

James Gibb+ and James Gibb+ App allows you to view invoices and pay and control your account online and in real time. You can also view and download development specific information such as your Development Manager’s site inspection visit schedules, Financial Information, Contracts and Specifications, Contractor Reports, Insurance Documentation and Client Notices. Documents available within these categories can be viewed at James Gibb+

We aim to always have documents available to view online for a period of one year.  Out with this period, the records are archived.  This allows you to view the most recent and relevant documentation.

By logging onto James Gibb+ and accessing the Documents Area you will find the documents available for your development.  Within the Client Notices drop down menu you will find all information notices issued to the development.

By logging onto James Gibb+ and accessing the Documents Area you will find the documents available for your development.  Within the Key Development Information drop down menu, you will find the most recent AGM minutes available (if applicable).

About Factoring

Our passion for Customer Care! We are a people centric organisation and our key focus is to deliver a high standard of service to our clients, at minimal cost.   We consider ourselves problem solvers and we will do our utmost to ensure that ownership is taken to assist when problems arise. Good communication is imperative and our teams are dedicated to ensuring that working relationships are established with our clients. This approach builds trust and is our definition of ‘doing it the right way’.   We are a flexible Managing Agent and will do our best to work with our clients to deliver on specific requests.

Unlike other property management companies, we offer:

  • A dedicated Development Manager for each Development and as such we fully understand your Development. You will always speak to an individual who has great knowledge of your location and visits your Development on a regular basis.
  • An out of hours Emergency Control Centre ready to take emergency calls 24 hours, 365 days a year. The centre is staffed with property professionals, capable of dealing and escalating emergency calls. 
  • Arrangement of a Residents' meeting when required.  An Annual General Meeting is generally called when a new development completed, however we do not wait until problems arise before arranging meetings. In some cases, developments may be handed over in phases, which may result in phased meetings with owners through to completion.
  • Great experience in all types of Residential and Commercial Building Designs and the property maintenance required by current designs.
  • A proactive rather than reactive approach to maintenance programmes that saves developments longer term costs. Your Development Manager can provide a bespoke 10-year maintenance programme for discussion, at the initial and future Annual General Meeting.

If grounds maintenance services are provided at your development, we have a standard specification in place. This is generally two visits per month from April – October and monthly visits between November – March.    As part of our Service Level Agreement (SLA) with our suppliers, their work is routinely assessed by our Development Manager and observations are recorded in our electronic inspection report, which is available for review on James Gibb+.    Our suppliers are expected to complete a schedule confirming works undertaken during each visit which is then provided to us for review and then uploaded to James Gibb+. Our standard grounds maintenance specification can vary on a development basis; therefore, our generic specification may be amended to suit, which should be clarified in your Development Schedule.   Whilst our grounds maintenance contractors do their best to adhere to our schedule, sometimes weather restrictions can create some delays, but we work with the contractor to ensure that any outstanding works are addressed as soon as possible. 

The number of grounds maintenance staff working at any one time does not affect the amount of work being undertaken.  Staff allocation is commensurate with the requirements of the agreed maintenance programme.

It is often practically impossible for grounds maintenance contractors to move jobs around to enable cutting grass in dry weather, as the teams are carrying out jobs back-to-back every day of the week and so lawns can end up being cut in wet weather. Using powerful commercial machinery with wide collecting hatches means that no lasting damage is done to grass; even muddy tracks are just an aesthetic effect that soon recovers.  Effects may include small clumps of damp grass, a yellowing to the tops of the grass blades, or a slight blackening of the grass. Grounds maintenance contractors will always choose the most appropriate technique to get the best results, but sometimes the aesthetic finish will just not be as good which cannot be avoided.  For contractors to miss cuts would mean breaching the grounds maintenance contract in place with James Gibb.

The first cut of the season will generally just take the tips off the grass, with the blades gradually being lowered over the first 2 to 3 cuts to achieve the desired height.  This is important so as not to stress the grass.  In very wet or very dry conditions the grass may not be cut as short as normal for the same reason.

During the summer months, brown patches can appear on the grass which is due to dry weather.  Homeowners can attempt to reduce this by watering the grass or installing a sprinkler system.   The grass usually does revive after the next spell of rain; however, it can take a bit of time to fully recover.

Pruning is carried out as per the James Gibb’s specification for the development, which is usually a summer and winter prune.  The grounds maintenance contractor chooses the time of year to ensure the maximum benefit, which prevents the shrubs and hedges becoming overgrown in between cuts. Tree lopping works falls out with our standard specification and should such works be required; James Gibb would generally appoint a tree surgeon to assess and provide a cost to undertake such works. Depending on the species of tree being considered, this work may need to be carried out at specific times of the year, which the tree surgeon will identify in advance.

Woodland Mix areas are a mix of shrubs and trees, which takes between 3 and 5 years to establish ground cover.  In the initial period, weed growth is addressed twice per annum.  All residents should accept this will be the case in the initial 5 years. 

The grounds maintenance contractor is responsible for removing moss from small areas such as steps and entrances to pathways.   To treat and ‘kill off’ moss in areas such as car parks or larger path areas, it requires a Tender process whereby contractors will be invited to assess the condition of the moss and provide a cost estimate to treat and remove.  This falls out with the grounds maintenance contract. On new build developments, newly installed shrubs, trees etc. can take between 2-5 years to establish the kind of ground cover required to slow weed growth.

If areas of shrub beds are bare, the grounds maintenance contractor and Estates Manager will co-ordinate for planting to be priced accordingly.  Robust planting is usually carried out at the bare root season during November/ December.  Floral planting is usually considered during spring or early summer. When shrubs are planted, they usually go into shock and can take time to bed their roots.  This can create slow growth for the initial period of time and it could look as though the shrub is dead.  The grounds maintenance contractor will attempt to nurture newly planted shrubs to stimulate growth. On occasion, some plants may not survive which could be due to the conditions of the ground, the shrub having been damaged or animals having trampled, or dug it up.

Grounds maintenance contractors will generally use leaf blowers to remove leaves from developments.  Whilst leaf blowers can be used incorrectly, the grounds maintenance companies train their operatives to use them properly. The usual process involves blowing into large piles and then collecting these. Once there is only dust left this may be blown into a bed – this last stage can be mistaken for the operatives blowing everything into the beds.  This is not the case and would not help the operatives as they would have to remove the debris eventually.

This is achievable but only if the Deed of Conditions do not have any specific burdens stipulating that a Factor must be appointed to manage the common parts.

Previous developments that have chosen to self-factor have returned to James Gibb because they have experienced problems collecting debt from homeowners; been charged higher contract costs; had difficulties arranging insurance such as Buildings & Property Owners Liability Insurance Policies; not realised the extent of the workload involved in the management of the development.

Our Business Development and Operations Teams will assist with managing Homebuilder defects affecting the common parts.   Our Business Development Team have excellent working relationships with Homebuilders whereby they work together in advance of arranging any handovers of common parts to minimise the possibility of any potential defects.   At handover, the warranty period is outlined by the Homebuilder and should any defects arise during this period, we will liaise with the Homebuilder and manage the defect on behalf of the homeowners.

Our period of appointment is generally 3 years from the initial date of handover, and it is usually agreed with the Developer at the stage where James Gibb has been awarded the factoring contract, however this may be superseded by legal burdens within a Deed of Conditions.

A Residents Association & Committee is considered a formal group of homeowners who own property within a development and appointed committee members, such as the Chair of the Association, Secretary, Treasurer and committee members will meet routinely to discuss matters affecting the common parts within a development. If the committee is properly constituted, the members can make decisions on behalf of homeowners, providing the agreement is made in accordance with the constitution and Deed of Conditions.    It is common practice that the Factor (usually the Development Manager) attends committee meetings to offer support and assistance to the members.

How to set up and Association & Committee

Setting up an Association and Committee varies and is usually outlined within the Deed of Conditions/ Development Management Schemes (DMS).    We help set up Associations & Committees and encourage discussion at Annual General Meetings (AGM’s). In our experience, working with a Residents Association & Committee is an excellent asset to a development and it is important that homeowners’ views and interested parties are considered in all aspects of managing the common parts within a development.

Common Land is land which is owned by a collective number of homeowners whereby all mutual parties have an obligation to contribute towards the upkeep and maintenance of these parts.

A Deed of Conditions is a legal document which creates legal burdens for the mutual benefit of the common parts within a development.   The homeowner’s expectations are stipulated within the Deed of Conditions as well as the obligations of the appointed Factor.   

When purchasing your property, your Solicitor should review the Deed of Conditions with you to ensure you fully understand your legal obligations.

Invoices and Charging

Your account number can be located at the top right-hand side of your service charge invoice.   It appears as ‘ACCOUNT No.’ on invoices and ‘Your Account Number’ on all other correspondence.

To view Contractor Invoices you will require a current version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Yes! When you receive your budget reconciliation detailing the actual versus budget for the preceding year, you can view the majority of contractor invoices relating to the charges incurred.  Please follow the instructions on the key information document ‘Viewing Year End Accounts’ on James Gibb+.

No. Due to General Data Protection Regulations, we are unable to provide invoices for certain costs incurred, for example legal costs for the pursuit of debt.  However, the majority of contractor invoices in relation to the repair and maintenance of the development are available for you to view.

The sale of your property is a legal transfer of ownership therefore, as part of the sale process your solicitor will contact James Gibb with a standard letter confirming the sale and provide all relevant information including date of sale.

If no sale letter is received – unfortunately, we have not yet heard from your solicitor. We would suggest contacting them to give them a reminder to notify us of the sale.  You will receive your final invoice at your development’s next billing period.

If the sale letter is received – Your solicitor has already advised us of the sale.  You do not need to do anything else.  You will receive your final invoice at your development’s next billing period.

View our Customer Guide Selling your Home.

As this is a change of ownership, James Gibb needs legal confirmation from your solicitor of the new owner’s details and confirmation of the date of sale.

View our Customer Guide Selling your Home

A sale fee is charged to cover the time and resource involved in processing the sale of your property.  This involves corresponding with your solicitor regarding details such as outstanding sums and ongoing or potential maintenance works within your development.  The level of sale fee for each property type is detailed within the Selling your Home Guide

 

It is in accordance with your deeds that your final invoice is generated at the next billing period for your development.  Your float is offset against the final charges and therefore sufficient time is required to collate the charges and prepare your final account. If you have not done so already, please send your email address to enquiries@jamesgibb.co.uk. You can then quickly contact James Gibb for any refund due on the account. 

Your standing order payments have not been sufficient to cover the cost of your invoice.  This may be because you haven’t made enough standing order payments or it could be because there have been additional costs due to work that hasn’t been accounted for within your estimated service charge budget.

Whilst we already offer Direct Debit as a payment method, the introduction of paperless sign up makes the Direct Debit instruction process more efficient and much easier, as it removes the requirement for paper-based transactions and their associated administration.  The move away from paper-based transactions to a more efficient automated process, realises many benefits for you, such as:

  • Safe and convenient way to pay a service charge account.
  • Never forget to pay a service charge account.
  • Avoid reminder letters and late payment charges.
  • Protected by the ‘Direct Debit Guarantee’.
  • Flexibility to pay monthly or quarterly.
  • Advance notification ahead of agreed collection date.
  • Future-proofed as traditional payment methods are phased out.
  • Environmentally friendly.

Regular financial reviews are undertaken to ensure Direct Debit payments are accurately reflecting the requirements of the Development.

Make life easier and cleaner. Sign up for paperless direct debit.

Log on at James Gibb+

Talk to one of our finance team on 0333 240 8325

We offer Direct Debit as a payment option. You can access and download our Direct Debit Mandates here:

Montly Direct Debit mandate

Quarterly Direct Debit mandate

The factor does not determine this, this is governed by the burdens in the Deed of Conditions. James Gibb act on behalf of your development (duty holders) to manage the factoring process however all costs relating to the development, including legal expenses,  are the responsibility of all homeowners.   Whilst we appreciate that this may be considered unfair, we have a robust Income Recovery Procedure to ensure that development debt is managed in the best interest of the homeowners within the development.  Where we are pursuing non-payment and applying legal expenses, when we are successful with recovering the principal sums being pursued and recover the legal expenses, we will apply the credit for the legal expenses to your account. 

A float is a refundable deposit which is taken at the point of purchase to assist with the initial expenses incurred for the required services within a development.   When we issue a service charge invoice to homeowners this is us essentially advising you what we have used the float monies for and our invoice is what we require to be paid from homeowners to ensure we have sufficient funds to continue providing services in advance of the next invoicing period.  Please keep in mind that your float is refundable and if you sell your property, you will receive a final account from us, and once your outstanding balance is paid, we will return your float deposit to you.  Please refer to our Float Guide for further details.

Insurance

Property Owners Liability Insurance cover protects homeowners with regards to any claims that may be made against them in respect of their legal liability for any personal injury that a third party may incur. We negotiate several types of cover which ranges for purely open space areas to play park equipment, or mechanical systems within developments.    We aim to provide comprehensive cover to ensure our clients are protected against any unwanted exposures.  

Trace and Access cover is a product included in association with a communal Buildings Insurance Policy to enable contractors to source and repair an issue resulting in detrimental damage to a common part or property. Trace & Access is used to promptly source the cause of the issue to ensure that it is addressed to mitigate any damage to common parts, as well as any properties covered by Communal Buildings Insurance Cover.   The Buildings Insurance policy provided will have general exclusions, but this will be considered on a per incident basis and managed accordingly by our team and our Insurance Brokers.

The insurance cover is implemented on behalf of the homeowners (duty holders) and is considered a communal service which is chargeable to the relevant proprietors.

Escape of Water/ Resultant damage is a peril covered under the communal Buildings Insurance policy, however there are certain circumstances which the insurer will assess prior to validating a claim such as, was the incident as a result of lack of maintenance or wear or tear.  We encourage all homeowners to be vigilant and ensure that general household maintenance is undertaken by the homeowner to avoid incidents such as Escape of Water.  Homeowners can contact their appointed Development Managers to seek further advice if required.

By logging onto James Gibb+ and accessing the Documents area you will find the documents available for your development.  Within the Insurance Documentation drop down menu you will find the Insurance Renewal Letter detailing the accepted quotation for your development and the next two keenest quotations received.  If you would like a full list of all insurance companies approached to tender, please contact our office at enquiries@jamesgibb.co.uk

Parking

Parking Permits can be ordered but only by homeowners or their delegated representatives such as Letting Agencies who can place the order and confirm where the permits have to be sent.  

We require written authorisation (either by post or email) from the homeowner or homeowners delegated representative to ensure we have consent to procced and apply the cost of the permit to the client’s account.  

Contact Us should you wish to order a parking permit.

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