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Why homebuilders appoint property factors!

It is important that developments are properly maintained and that clear guidelines as to how each development is maintained and who is responsible for payment of services, are included within the Deed of Conditions.

Local council maintenance and management

It is commonplace for much of the road, street lighting and drainage infrastructure of a new development to be “adopted” for maintenance by the local council and Scottish Water, but it is much less common these days for areas of landscaping and play parks to be similarly adopted. The advantage of having roads adopted is that they become part of the public highway and the local council manages and maintains the road at public expense and residents do not have to pay for maintenance of adopted roads. It is important to note, that all local councils require roads and lighting infrastructure to meet certain basic minimum standards before adoption. Local councils are acutely aware of costs to the public purse and naturally wish to avoid any expensive repairs. Housebuilders can choose to keep new roads private and some roads may not meet the local council's road adoption policy. If either of these apply, maintenance of the unadopted roads falls to the homeowners within the development.

Throughout Scotland there are different maintenance regimes in place, with local councils maintaining some areas and private owners and factors being responsible for the maintenance of others.

Homebuilders appoint property factor to maintain common landscaped areas

It has become more common for housebuilders to appoint a property factor to carry out the maintenance of common landscaped areas within a development. In so doing, the public open space is typically held in private ownership with homeowners required to pay an annual contribution towards its upkeep and the cost of any property factor. This avoids the need for the housebuilder to pay any up-front commuted sum to have the public open spaces adopted by the council. Property factors will typically work to a higher standard of grounds maintenance specification for communal landscaping and can customise service delivery for each development. Homeowners with a private property factor can also influence the frequency of maintenance visits and the scope of the service through engagement with the incumbent property factor.

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