2.1 Good communication is the foundation for building a positive relationship with homeowners, leading to fewer misunderstandings and disputes and promoting mutual respect. It is the homeowners’ responsibility to make sure the common parts of their building are maintained to a good standard. They therefore need to be consulted appropriately in decision making and have access to the information that they need to understand the operation of the property factor, what to expect and whether the property factor has met its obligations.
2.2 Factors are required to comply with current data protection legislation when handling their client’s personal data, and to ensure that this information is held and used safely and appropriately.
The Code requires that:
2.3 The WSS must set out how homeowners can access information, documents and policies/procedures. Information and documents can be made available in a digital format, for example on a website, a web portal, app or by email attachment. In order to meet a range of needs, property factors must provide a paper copy of documentation in response to any reasonable request by a homeowner.
2.4 Where information or documents must be made available to a homeowner by the property factor under the Code on request, the property factor must consider the request and make the information available unless there is good reason not to.
2.5 A property factor must provide a homeowner with their contact details, including full postal address with post code, telephone number, contact e-mail address (if they have an e-mail address) and any other relevant mechanism for reporting issues or making enquiries. . If it is part of the service agreed with homeowners, a property factor must also provide details of arrangements for dealing with out-of-hours emergencies including how a homeowner can contact out-of-hours contractors.
2.6 A property factor must have a procedure to consult with all homeowners and seek homeowners’ consent, in accordance with the provisions of the deed of condition or provisions of the agreed contract service, before providing work or services which will incur charges or fees in addition to those relating to the core service. Exceptions to this are where there is an agreed level of delegated authority, in writing with homeowners, to incur costs up to an agreed threshold or to act without seeking further approval in certain situations (such as in emergencies). This written procedure must be made available if requested by a homeowner.
2.7 A property factor should respond to enquiries and complaints received orally and/or in writing within the timescales confirmed in their WSS. Overall a property factor should aim to deal with enquiries and complaints as quickly and as fully as possible, and to keep the homeowner(s) informed if they are not able to respond within the agreed timescale.
2.8 A property factor must take all reasonable steps to ensure that their property factor registered number is included in any document sent to a homeowner.
2.9 Where another property factor is due to take over the management of property and land owned by homeowners; the outgoing property factor must co-operate (within the limits of their authority to act and data protection legislation) with the new, formally appointed, property factor (and vice versa), to supply each other with information about the land and properties to be factored and contact details for homeowners. This could be achieved via a letter of authority from the majority of homeowners to confirm their instructions to the outgoing property factor and list the information they wish to be shared.
2.10 Where the property factor has purchased the assets or otherwise been introduced to homeowners by the existing property factor, the letter of introduction should include a clear statement that homeowners are responsible for choosing and appointing their property factor and are not obliged to take up the offer of services.
 This is also required by section 13(3) of the 2011 Act and can be taken into account by the Scottish Government in relation to a further application to register (see section 4(4)(b)(ii) of the 2011 Act).