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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

Code of Conduct Review

As you may know, property factoring has been regulated since 2012 and all factors must adhere to the Property Factor Code of Conduct introduced as part of the Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011.  

The Code of Conduct is due to be revised following a lengthy consultation process carried out by the Scottish Government. The revised Code was laid before the Scottish Parliament last month and, subject to Parliamentary approval, will come into force in August of this year.  

Nearer the time, we will require to revisit our own Written Statement of Services (WSS) to ensure compliance but, in the meantime, we thought it useful to highlight some of the key changes that will come with the revised code: 

  • “Overarching Standards of Practice” are added. These are various standards to which Factors must adhere when carrying out their work, including compliance with all relevant legislation and remaining honest, open and transparent in all dealings with homeowners.
  • Any substantial changes to a WSS must be provided to homeowners at the earliest opportunity within a 3–month period. The current Code allows changes to be provided within a 1–year period. 
  • There is now explicit references to a Factor’s obligation to comply with Data Protection Legislation when handling personal data of clients.
  • Compliance with anti-money laundering legislation and guidance is brought into a Factor’s financial obligations. The current Code is silent on this.
  • A Factor must treat customers in default/arrears: “fairly, with forbearance and due consideration.” A Factor’s debt recovery procedure should advise customers that independent, free, debt advice organisations are available to them. 
  • Factors are to provide an annual insurance statement to each homeowners or a statement within 3 months following a change in insurance provider. 
  • The Revised Code also introduces a new, six page, glossary of terms, again signalling an effort to strengthen the clarity of the code. 

If you have any further questions about the new Code of Conduct and how any of the changes may affect you, please do not hesitate to get in contact. 

Out of Hours Emergency. Call us on 0333 240 8325 where our helpline operators will assist you

Aberdeen

2 Thistle Street
Aberdeen 
AB10 1XZ

aberdeen@jamesgibb.co.uk

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Bellahouston

Bellahouston Business Centre
423 Paisley Road West
Glasgow, G51 1PZ

glasgow@jamesgibb.co.uk

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Dundee

Gemini Crescent
Dundee Technology Park
Dundee DD2 1SW

dundee@jamesgibb.co.uk

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Edinburgh

4 Atholl Place
Edinburgh
EH3 8HT

edinburgh@jamesgibb.co.uk

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Glasgow

65 Greendyke Street
Glasgow
G1 5PX

glasgow@jamesgibb.co.uk

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