Back to the Scottish Parliament Property Factors (Scotland) Bill - (SP Bill 51)
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For information - the Bill has now been passed by the Parliament.  This webpage describes the Local Government and Communities Committee's work on the Bill.

Introduction

The Local Government and Communities Committee was the lead committee for the Property Factors (Scotland) Bill.  This was a Member’s Bill and was introduced by Patricia Ferguson MSP on 1 June 2010.

Background

The Bill would require property factors to be registered to ensure that they were ‘fit and proper persons’ operating to minimum standards. Scottish Ministers would be required to prepare and maintain a public register of property factors and it would be an offence to operate as a property factor without registration. Scottish Ministers would also be responsible for preparing a code of conduct, setting out the minimum standards required of property factors.  A property factor could be taken off the register if they did not comply with the code.

The Bill would also create a form of alternative dispute resolution between property factors and homeowners by establishing a homeowner panel and a homeowner housing committee (HHC) to consider complaints from homeowners. This route could only be used once the factor’s own internal complaints procedure had been exhausted.

The Bill allows for the HHC to issue a “property factor enforcement order” if a factor has failed to comply with its contractual duties or with the code of conduct.  The order would set out what action the factor is required to take and in what time period and, if appropriate, order a factor to make financial recompense to the homeowner. It would be an offence to fail, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a property factor enforcement order.  

Written Evidence

A call for written evidence was issued by the Local Government and Communities Committee for interested parties to submit their views on the Bill. 

The call for evidence is now closed.

Oral Evidence

At its meeting on 8 September 2010, the Committee took evidence from the Property Managers Association Scotland, Greenbelt Group Ltd, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and Hanover (Scotland) Housing Association Ltd. 

At its meeting on 15 September 2010, the Committee took evidence from the Office of Fair Trading, Consumer Focus Scotland, Greenbelt Group Action and Stonelaw Court Owners' Association. 

At its meeting on 22 September 2010, the Committee took evidence from the Minister for Housing and Communities and Scottish Government officials.

At its meeting on 29 September 2010, the Committee took evidence from Patricia Ferguson MSP and Mike Dailly, Govan Law Centre.

Stage 1 Report

The Committee published its Stage 1 report on the Bill on 16 November 2010.

Stage 1 Debate

The Stage 1 debate for the Property Factors (Scotland) Bill took place on 8 December 2010.

Stage 2

The Committee considered the Bill at Stage 2 at its meetings on 19 January and 26 January 2011. 

The Committee completed its consideration of the Bill at Stage 2.

Stage 3

The Stage 3 debate was held on 3 March 2011.

The Bill passed Stage 3 on 3 March 2011.

Completed Business of the committee