Property factor accused of ‘daylight robbery’ for soaring fees at Kirkcaldy estate

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A property management company which looks after a new housing estate in Kirkcaldy has been accused of ‘daylight robbery’ after residents were hit with rocketing fees.

The criticism came from David Torrance MSP after he met a delegation of home owners at Rosslyn Gait who have seen their annual factor fees more than double. The company under fire, RMG Scotland, said rising material and labour costs had resulted in the increases.

The Persimmon development to the north of Rosslyn Street continues to expand, and residents told the MSP they were told by the developer there wouldn’t be any factoring fees until the estate was at least three quarters full and that their bills would be around £200 per year.

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Karen Bright moved into Rosslyn Gait in September 2021. Her first factors’ bill for £121 landed one month later and she was told they would follow quarterly.

Hazel Wilson and Karen Bright are among the home owners speaking out about their factor at Rosslyn Gait. The pictures also show some of the areas the factor is responsible for (Pics: Contributed)Hazel Wilson and Karen Bright are among the home owners speaking out about their factor at Rosslyn Gait. The pictures also show some of the areas the factor is responsible for (Pics: Contributed)
Hazel Wilson and Karen Bright are among the home owners speaking out about their factor at Rosslyn Gait. The pictures also show some of the areas the factor is responsible for (Pics: Contributed)

“We were told that Persimmon shouldn’t have told us it would be £200 per year, but we have it in black and white in our contract when we bought the house,” she said. “Now, after several phone calls where we’ve got nowhere, RMG has sent us a letter threatening to take us to court for failing to pay a £34 fine for late payment.”

Karen said areas that RMG are contracted to factor are limited - “a few slivers of grass.”

She added: “I’m quite happy to pay for a factor, but it’s unfair what RMG is charging us. I’m standing my ground as I’m not paying them for work that has not been done. The estate is clearly not finished and RMG is not maintaining anything - it’s an injustice to charge us for something that it has not delivered on.”

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Neighbour, Hazel Wilson, has yet to be charged for factor fees.

She said: “RMG needs to get its act together. It is potentially charging homeowners in Rosslyn Gait up to £500 a year for factor fees when it was promised to be only £200.”

A third neighbour, Emily Campbell, has been charged even more, with bills for over £400 for two quarters.

She said: “I’ve not paid RMG anything, but I know of a few people who have been sent letters from a solicitor threatening court action if we don’t pay. We’ve been promised a lot we’ve yet to see - there were supposed to be shops and a school built. There’s not even a post box - I’m so angry with it all that I’ve put my house up for sale.”The residents met recently with Mr Torrance who described RMG’s treatment as “very unfair” adding: “To renege on the agreed £200 a year factor fees is nothing short of daylight robbery. We are in the midst of a cost-of living crisis where many people quite simply can’t afford these exorbitant fees.”A spokesman for RMG said: “We are aware of some concerns raised by residents around fees charged and we have been working with a number of residents to explain the position. The invoice issued in January 2023 was for an eight month period, ranging from May 2022 to December 2023.

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“Bills are now being issued on a quarterly basis with a full breakdown of the charges being incurred. We are aware that some residents were quoted £200 per unit previously, this figure has increased over time with inflation impacting on material and labour costs.

We continue to keep the contracts and all other expenditure under review to ensure that the costs do not increase exponentially.”

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