Factor (Scotland)

In Scotland a Factor (or property manager) is a person or firm charged with superintending or managing properties and estates -- sometimes where the owner or landlord is unable to or uninterested in attending to such details personally, or in tenements in which several owners of individual flats contribute to the factoring of communal areas.

Factors can be found in solicitors firms, employed by chartered surveyors, property companies and building firms. Property factoring has a wide range of responsibilities and roles. Typically, a person would encounter a Factor when renting property or subcontracting for a building firm.


Dealing with tenants

When dealing with tenants a Scottish Factor's job would include finding, vetting, evicting, and generally dealing with tenants. They would be expected to advertise any vacancies for the property or properties under their charge, and selecting appropriate tenants. Rents and other monies would then be collected by the Factor. After dispensing with necessary expenditures the Factor would pass the remaining monies onto the Landlord.

Dealing with the property

A Factor could also be expected to deal with home repair, home improvement, cleaning, landscaping and snow removal, to be coordinated with the owner's wishes. Such arrangements may require the Factor to collect rents, and pay necessary expenses and taxes, making periodic reports to the owner, or the owner may simply delegate specific tasks and deal with others directly.

A Factor will often employ the services of a property services company to carry out the duties associated with the upkeep of the property (e.g. garden care, stair cleaning, car parking, etc).

Other duties

A Factor may arrange for care of animals, planting, growing or harvesting of agricultural products, or managing the orderly removal of other natural products (e.g., timber, gravel, minerals) for sale, use or storage. Where a dwelling (vacation home, second home) is only periodically occupied, the manager might arrange for heightened security monitoring, house-sitting, storage and shipping of goods, and other local sub-contracting necessary to make the property comfortable when the owner is in residence (utilities, systems operating, supplies and staff on hand, etc).

Historical and legal background

On traditional Scottish feudal estates where the laird (simliar to the English lord of the manor) was still owner and operator a Factor would be employed to manage the main and tenant estates. The Factor's job would include all of the above duties. Having to manage major elements of the business of the estates, collecting rents, selecting and evicting tenants and ensuring the grounds were well maintained. They would have to work closely with the Steward and the Ghillie. The approximate English equivalent of a Factor of this kind is a land agent.

There has been much debate in the Law Society of Scotland, the Scottish Law Commission, Scottish Parliament and Scottish Executive about the regulation of property Factoring.

ee also

*Factor (agent) for mercantile and colonial Factors
*Property manager for a general discussion on the background to property management
*Solicitor for an explanation of the role of a solicitor
*Property for a general article on propety

External links

* [http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/getadvice/advice_topics/repairs_and_bad_conditions/repairs_and_maintenance_in_common_areas/property_managers_and_factors Shelter's Page on Property Managers and Factors]

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