The Element Factor
The Element Factors (TEF) are the factoring company for the development. TEF offer a unique, tailored factoring service.
They have a dedicated office in The Element building itself. (Open Monday-Friday 9 am- 5 pm) A total of 10 staff and managers work tirelessly on maintaining, cleaning and improving the development for the benefit of all owners and residents.
Their aim is to provide a clean, safe and community focused development whilst also driving property prices up on the back of continued facility improvements and maintenance.
Click here to go to TEF’s Website where you can find out more about who they are, fees and how to report factoring related issues.
Factor Fees and Finances FAQ’s
If I buy one of the 278 flats in the Element, will I have to pay something towards the upkeep beyond my own property?
Yes. You buy more than just the individual flat inside your four walls. You have a 278th share in the entire development known as The Element. This includes the courtyard garden, staircases, lifts, corridors, surrounding terracing and the car park /garage, as well as the roof and drains etc. You are 1/278 responsible for the upkeep of the whole. This upkeep is carried out on behalf of all owners by a Property Manager.
What does the Factor’s work consist of?
Its workload is agreed with TENOA. It consists of two categories of activity, designed to keep separate two distinct liabilities referred to in our Title Deeds:-
Routine maintenance and service provision (known as ‘housekeeping costs’ or revenue activities).
Building insurance cover (you are responsible for insuring the contents of your individual flat),
The maintenance of the eleven lifts, contracted to a specialist company,
Cleaning, maintenance and occasional redecoration of common areas, including entrances, corridors, stairwells, garages, refuse collection areas, gardens and external paved areas. These are carried out by a TEF subsidiary, Baltic Solutions Ltd. Included are the replacement of items subject to wear and tear such as light bulbs and carpets in common areas etc.
Security – control of access, fire safety equipment, garage doors, etc.,
Electricity supply to common areas and services.
At The Element, these activities are funded out of an account known as the Green Fund. For the last full year, expenditure was in the order of £400k.
Repair and Restoration of worn-out or damaged parts of the development and its properties (known as capital works). These are determined by TEF in consultation with TENOA. Current work includes:-
Repairs to Roofs and Cladding
Work on Fire Alarms
Garage CO2 Sensor replacement
Pump and Water Tank renewal
These activities are funded out of an account known as the Red Fund. For the last full year, expenditure was in the order of £110k.
In 2016, TENOA commissioned a ‘Critical Risk Assessment’ (CRA) from an independent surveyor to ensure that problems created when the original developer went into liquidation some years earlier are rectified in a managed process over time. (Some of these items are subject to claims under the ten year NHBC guarantee and may eventually be subject to reimbursement.) Meanwhile, year by year remedial structural work is necessary: – renewal and some emergency work, eg. as a result of regulations following the Grenfell Tower tragedy to ensure the safety of all occupants.
The overall improvement in the quality of the building is noticeable and its value increases as a result, to the benefit of all owners. We can feel justly proud of this achievement.
What is a Factor?
A Factor is a Property Manager, registered under the Factors Act. For us, the Factor is “The Element Factors Ltd” (TEF) acting under contract with TENOA which serves as “proprietor’s representative” all the 278 owners of a property in the development to ensure that the development and its constituent properties are kept in good order and that key services are provided to an acceptable standard. TEF is responsible for assessing each year how much money is needed for the year to maintain The Element, in consultation with TENOA, dividing this by 278, and charging each owner equally with that proportion of the total cost, including their fee for their work as the property manager, regardless of whether or not the owner uses all the services (eg. car park or lifts).
How are the Charges levied?
The charge is made on every property owner in The Element to cover the cost of the Factor’s work whilst enabling TEF to break-even. The total cost is divided by the 278 properties. The Green Fund charge is a monthly levy and is currently set at £110, payable on the first of each month (a reduction on the previous year, achieved by good housekeeping by TEF). The Red Fund charge is technically an annual charge (determined by an assessment of major repairs to be undertaken under the CRA) – £480 was due on 1 October 2017. This may be paid as a single payment, though most owners have opted to pay monthly (£40) alongside their Green Fund payment, making a total charge of £150 per month. New owners pay pro rata.
Whilst the Green Fund costs remain fairly steady, the Red Fund can vary significantly, given the unpredictability of emergency work. The charge to owners is agreed after careful consideration between TEF and TENOA and is periodically reviewed.
What are the Property Owners’ Responsibilities?
To report defects to the Factor’s office.
To pay the set monthly charge / charges falling due. This requirement applies equally to all properties as explained in the Title Deeds and like all bills must be paid promptly.