Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question relating to our factoring service? Our most common questions, and their answers, are shown below.

1. How are the costs for my bill worked out?

If you live in a house the costs you pay are apportioned based on the work carried out in your management area.

These are called common repairs. Every one of the properties rented from the Association and sold under the Right to Buy is associated with a Management area. There are 4 of these areas:

  • Bargarran with 795 properties
  • North Barr with 974 properties
  • Park Mains I with 719 properties
  • Park Mains II with 903 properties

Each owner and tenant pays an equal share of the total cost for common repairs within their management area.

For example, someone living in Bargarran would pay one 795th of the cost of repairs. Tenants pay for their contribution through their rent. Some houses also have a small footpath which services only a limited number of houses in their street.

in these cases owners will also have to pay for the maintenance of these paths. This charge will be shown separately on your account, if it applies. Owners who live in flats require to pay common charges, and also block common charges, for repairs to the individual blocks of flats they live in.

2. What are "Common Charges"?

These include day-to-day maintenance work which is carried out somewhere in the management area. Such repairs can include:

  • Cleaning out manholes and gullies
  • Rebuilding defective brickwork to retaining walls
  • Incidental footpath repairs
  • Repairs to car parking areas, and so on.
3. My Flat is factored. What does this mean and what do I pay for?

This means that the Association effectively manages the maintenance of the common parts of your block. This includes arranging for communal repairs; monitoring the performance of contractors who work in your block; making payments to contractors; issuing accounts to the owners in your block who have to pay for these common charges; and collecting payments.

The majority of our factored owners have their buildings insurance with us; this is a condition of the title deeds.  As our factored owners are included in our global policy, they receive excellent value for money.

A great deal of work is required in selecting contractors and monitoring their performance to ensure that the Association’s customers are getting value for money.

4. What is the administration fee for?

The administration fee covers the cost of a range of things. These include organising tenders for the landscape maintenance contract and other work carried out in common areas; managing these contracts including quality control and value for money; dealing with enquiries about the work we do; and the costs associated with preparing and issuing your account.

5. Isn't this what I pay council tax for?

Your Council tax bill only includes work carried out by Renfrewshire council. The landscaped areas and many footpaths in the area you live in have not been adopted by the council. It is Bridgewater’s responsibility to maintain these areas and owner occupiers responsibility to contribute towards the cost of this work.

6. Which areas below to Bridgewater and which are maintained by Renfrewshire Council?

We have detailed maps in our office which show who is responsible for unadopted pathways and landscaped areas. If you are interested in viewing these maps you are welcome to call into the office. It is worth noting that all roads are maintained by Renfrewshire Council. You can view digital versions of these maps by clicking the "Digital Area Plans" link.

7. Why do the Council not maintain all common areas?

The Council have advised us that they would require the equivalent of 15 years of landscaped maintenance costs to be paid in advance of them adopting the landscaped areas, and all footpaths would have to be upgraded to adoption standard. It would be unlikely that many residents would find this affordable, and it will also require a majority of residents to agree to these changes, which we know from experience, is unlikely to be achieved.

8. Can I purchase an area of common ground?

It is the Association’s policy not to sell off areas of common land, other than in exceptional circumstances. The Association is reviewing its policy with a view to making it easier for small areas of land to be acquired by residents. We have experienced significant legal and regulatory obstacles in trying to do this, which is prolonging the process. As it stands we are not in a position to sell pieces of land, however, should this change we will write to all residents when there are changes to the current policy.

9. The work you have described is not near my home. I haven't seen it or walked on it. Why do I have to pay for it?

As an owner occupier you are responsible along with the other owners in your management area to contribute to these repairs. Tenants pay their share of the costs through their rents.

You are legally obliged to contribute to these costs and these obligations are detailed in your Title Deeds. If you are unsure about what’s in your Title Deeds, you may want to speak to your solicitor.

It doesn’t matter if the repair/replacement wasn’t right next to your home, if it was in your management area, then you are legally bound to contribute  towards the costs incurred.

10. What work gets carried out under the landscape maintenance contract?

Most of the landscaped areas within the Association’s management areas are owned by Bridgewater Housing Association, and we have the responsibility for maintaining them. This entails a great deal of work and includes:

  • Grass cutting
  • The maintenance of shrub beds
  • Planting
  • Trimming and pruning
  • Weeding
  • Litter collection
  • Maintenance of trees and woodlands
  • Repairing and replacing fencing
  • Drainage repairs

To give some sense of scale, the Association   is responsible for the maintenance of 57 acres of grass and shrub areas within the 4 management areas. This is in addition to trees, woodland, hedges and hard landscape areas.

As this is a very large contract, the Association employs professional quantity surveyors to ensure that costs are carefully controlled, and properly allocated to the various management areas.

If we did not carry out this work, eventually the deterioration in standards would affect the value of your house.

11. What are "Cyclical Repairs"?

These include work that is carried out on a programmed basis, normally every five years, and include work such as maintenance painterwork.

12. What are block "Common Charges"?

These are repairs which are carried out to the common areas within a block of flats. These can include:

  • Roof and gutter repairs
  • Repairs to the controlled door entry system
  • Repairs to the backcourt, bin store area etc.

If you live in a block which has 6 flats, for example, you will pay a 1/6th share of the costs carried out to common areas in your block.

If you live in a flat you are legally obliged to pay your share of these costs and this is detailed in your Title Deeds.