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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11439
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My mother owns a flat in Scotland with a factor who is responsible

Resolved Question:

My mother owns a flat in Scotland with a factor who is responsible for the building. The flat above had a leak which caused damage in her flat. The owner has not been contactable since the evening of the damage. The factor fee includes building insurance but to date the factor have refused to assist in confirming the necessary repairs have been carried out or in helping to contact the owner of the rented property above. Instead they keep advising she must just pay the quote received from the insurance company to get the work carried out. This seems unfair. Can you advise me of her rights?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

A property factor is responsible to the owners in respect of issues of common ownership and common repairs and will also purchase the common insurance policy on behalf of the owners.

However, if a leak comes from within one flat and affects another this is not a defect that arises from the common parts of the building so the factor's involvement would be minimal and would normally be restricted to passing on the details to the insurance company with which the common insurance policy is held.

In other words it is not the factor's job to get involved with repairs within a specific dwelling as that is not part of the common parts of the building.

Happy to discuss further as I'm not sure what you mean by paying the quote from the insurance company to get the work carried out. The insurance company would arrange for your mother's property to be repaired at their cost subject to deduction and payment by your mother of any excess on the policy.

Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the quick response. Is the owner of the property above liable to pay any of the cost as in the deeds it states you are responsible for paying for the repair of damage to other property which a defect within your property causes
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
If that is what the deed says then that would be the case. The common law is that an owner would only be liable to another owner if there was negligence and of course a leak within a flat does not necessarily mean that an owner has been negligent.

The title deeds cover that point, however, by saying that if damage is caused to another flat, then there is liability.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you once again. One final point, how can we obtain confirmation the necessary repair has been carried out? Is this something the insurance company contractor would do or should the factor assist in this as the go between for the two parties? The concern is getting the work done and this happening again. We have found out from previous owners this is not the first instance.
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
There's no legal obligation on the owner to tell you that the repair has been carried out; you have to rely on the goodwill of the owner or the factor if the factor is prepared to act as go between. You really have to know who the owners are and communicate with them directly if at all possible.
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