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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12861
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I have been an owner in this close for ten years & pay

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I have been an owner in this close for ten years & pay regular amounts as requested by the factor to cover communal expenses. They have my home address, email address (which has not changed over this period), and they also have the contact details for my mother-in-law (also Mrs Atkin) who helps occasionally with the administration of this flat, which has been rented out constantly over this period, up until April last year.
As I have said, I do not live at the above address, and rely on communication from the factor of the property, Redpath Bruce. I was advised by mail by the factors that there was essential work that needed to be carried out at these premises and sent details of the work to be done. I paid around £3900 up front for my share of this work and received no information from the factors who were dealing with the contractors as to when the work would start & how long it would take. You will see from the enclosed email conversation that having paid this money to Redpath Bruce in May 2015, I then contacted them in September 2015 for an update as I had heard nothing. The reply I got on 21st September 2015 was from a Michelle Murdoch advising me that the instruction was being provided to the contractor that week .
A letter was received from Michelle Murdoch in October, advising that the scaffolding was being erected & we should advise our insurers, then nothing until February 2016 when I received a response to a telephone enquiry that there had been a delay with obtaining the materials & the work would now begin by the end of February. A further letter arrived mid-March advising that the works were underway, and we should advise our insurers. No further contact then until the end of March 2016, when I received a telephone call from the contractors advising me that they would urgently require 24 hour access to my flat to carry out the repairs, which would entail completely removing the stonework at the bay window at the front & replacing it. When I spoke to my tenant at the time, she immediately said she was not prepared to accommodate this as having the builders constantly in & out of the flat & the whole of the front of her lounge removed was more than inconvenient & in her opinion it rendered the property uninhabitable. She left immediately, with one month still remaining on her lease, and I can’t say I blame her!
A whole month later, I visited the property to see how things were progressing only to find that virtually nothing had been done. I emailed Redpath Bruce to enquire what was going on and received a reply from a Michelle Quinn advising that there had been a lot of preparation work that had to be done (this was not what the contractor had told me when he said he needed 24/7 access a month before) and that they were now ready to start the work.
Two months later, having received a factoring bill from Redpath Bruce, I again enquired as to a finishing date for the work, and pointed out that having already paid out for my share of the work and lost three months’ rent, not surprisingly I was not in a position to pay their bill. I received no reply to this, but shortly after this I began receiving calls from Scott & Co chasing a payment.
I then received a communication from Glasgow City Council, understandably requiring proof that the premises was unoccupied so that I could receive relief on the council tax due. I duly emailed Redpath Bruce requesting this.
By the beginning of October, I decided to send an email to Scott & Co explaining the situation & copied in Redpath Bruce. The calls from Scot & Co stopped, but there was still no communication from Redpath Bruce.
I received a letter from Redpath Bruce at the end of December enclosing another quarterly factor bill and apologising for the extra payments they had had to make to the contractor which had been added to this bill, however, no mention that the work was complete, and no mention of the certificate I had requested so that I could claim relief on my council tax for this property.
I sent them a letter by Royal Mail Signed For again requesting this information, and on the same day that the Sheriff’s Officers visited my home I received a reply denying receipt of my emails and advising me that the work was completed in September and advising that their letter would suffice as “note of completion” for Glasgow City Council.
This letter is signed by Michelle Quinn, who I can only assume must also be the Michelle Murdoch who was sending me emails at the start of this charade but on changing her name, then changed her email address & no longer accepts emails to her previous one. I find this to be very bad business practice, unless at the time of the change all customers & contacts are advised.
I finally received confirmation that the work was complete in January 2017, although on inspection of my property there were no window sills or plasterwork completed, and I still had no completion certificate - there is more but I have run out of space!

Thank you for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland. From your narrative it would appear that this works project has been a bit of a shambles. Factors don't get a great reputation and this is why. I would say that there would have to be a bit more analysis of what the factors have done or not done to get this programme of works started and finished within reasonable time but if you can establish that they are negligent as a result of which you have suffered loss then you do have a stateable action to take against them. From what you have said here, I would say that you have on the face of it a reasonable case to take forward but your own solicitor should look at the paperwork before drafting an action. Happy to discuss further. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your response. My main issue is not that the works were not handled correctly by the factor, but that they did not keep me informed although they knew that I was not resident at the premises, which left me with five months of Council Tax owed & the flat standing empty when it could have been either let or sold.I take it that my first move should be a solicitors letter to them, if you think I would have a case? I have copies of all correspondence including emails sent to them which went unanswered, and the Council tax demand which takes into account the flat being unoccupied while the work was carried out, but requires me to pay for the months following that when the flat stood empty because the factor omitted to advise me that the work was complete.

Yes, your solicitor should write a letter narrating the issues and asking for proposal for compensation.

JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have a solicitor. How do I go about finding one?

You can find one in the high street or go to www.lawsociety.org.uk