It is widely acknowledged that the environment in which factors operate is relatively unrecognisable compared to where it was 10-20 years ago. So what has brought about this change and what does the future hold?
Consultant in the industry, Angela Kirkwood, explains that “Much of the change has arisen from the phenomenal growth experienced, partly due to developers building new homes and making the appointment of a factor mandatory, and partly due to owners recognising themselves the need to put a professional property manager in place to effectively manage and maintain their greatest asset”. Angela goes on to explain that “Whilst this brought enormous benefits with buildings now being better maintained, it enabled some ‘bad practices’ by an unscrupulous few resulting in government intervention in the industry with the introduction of a tight regulatory framework”.
The Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 which came into force in 2012 has been the biggest piece of regulatory reform the factoring industry has seen. A recent consultation into the Act was undertaken by the Scottish Government and it will be interesting to see the impact this will have.
However for factors the Act is not their only consideration. Other regulations, legislation and codes of practice have also been introduced over the last decade which has resulted in factors now operating within a relatively complex environment. For factoring operations within housing associations, the complexities deepen further. The Scottish Housing Regulator indicated that there will be increased focus in this area and housing associations will be expected to demonstrate both value for money, financial viability and excellence in customer service.
SHARE now offer a variety of options for those involved in factoring to help bring you up to speed on the regulations, legislation and codes of practice you must work to as well as review your internal factoring operations.
Organisations of any size can bring in help from an industry expert for as little as one day. SHARE offer a 1 and 2 day ‘MOT service’ – a Compliance and Financial Health Check review and in partnership with the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM). Find out more HERE.
In January 2017 SHARE launched ‘A foundation in factoring’ their ‘IRPM Associate level’ factoring training programme, qualification and accreditation. This 6/7 day programme is very popular and has been delivered, via open course and in-house, in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and England. Find out more HERE.
Basic Introduction to Factoring is a one day course which is scheduled to run on 19th April and is aimed at individuals who are either new to factoring or wish to obtain a basic grounding of property management within Scotland. Find out more HERE.
SHARE now also offer Factoring for Committee/Board, an evening session on 19th April, aimed at members of housing associations and co-operatives who have responsibility for governance or its commercial subsidiary whose operation delivers a factoring service. Find out more HERE.
In fact there is now a whole host of training and support available to you. To find out more visit SHARE’s website or get in touch by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0141 550 7595.