Are you looking to receive quotes for your management company?

January 14th, 2013

Please e mail info@kennedywright.ie if you are looking for a quote from managing agents providing property management services for your development.

If you feel you or your fellow  directors are not ready or would like more answers or information, please feel to email or call us with no obligation on your part.

www.blockmanagement.ie

01 2871905

info@kennedywright.ie

What is a management company?

March 29th, 2012
It is important that all owners appreciate the necessity for a Management Company as part of the legal, day-to-day structure in multiple unit developments, whether they are apartment blocks, town houses, retail or office developments.

All common parts and services within any complex, not belonging to or the responsibility of a specific person, must be vested in a body or company. These common areas may be internal and/or external.

Each owner is a Member (or shareholder) in this Company. The Company has responsibilities to all the members to ensure that the common parts are maintained to a high standard for the enjoyment of all concerned.

The Company (in effect, the residents’ or owners’ Company) is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of all open spaces and services relating thereto. If it is an apartment block, the company is also responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the buildings and grounds. The full responsibilities of the Company are outlined in the Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, and in the Management Agreements attaching to the Title documents.

Similarly all owners individually have a co-responsibility to the Company to perform certain obligations as set out in the Management Agreements, including payment of service charges.

Thus, the Management Company has clear responsibilities to all of its Members and the Members have definite responsibilities to their Management Company and to each other.

To contact our office click here

www.blockmanagement.ie

The Company, like all limited companies, is managed by a Board of Directors or a Board of Management. It would not be possible to have all owners of an apartment block on the Board, so six are normally chosen to represent all and these are voted in at the Annual General Meeting each year. At the beginning, until all the units in a development are sold, the Board of Management normally comprises of the developer and/or their solicitor, or solicitor’s staff.

When all the units are sold, the control of the company is handed over to the owners themselves who elect their own Board.

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Blockmanagement.ie

Why should I pay my service charge?

March 12th, 2012

This is a common question when residents see arrears in other properties.  It is not unusual that residents feel that they are just paying for their neighbours services.  While this is true and can have a detrimental effect on a development in terms of appearance and value, there are a number of avenues that can be taken to collect arrears in addition to the preferable preventative measures.

It is important to be able to distinguish between residents who cant pay and wont pay.  This will also be a factor if a case goes to court.  Early communication can assist greatly in preventing the escalation of arrears. Often residents who are in financial difficulty are embarrassed in having arrears and as a result ignore the problem.  This needs to be dealt with in confidence and as early as possible.  This results in lower arrears in combination with developing a payment plan that assists both sides.

Unfortunately, some residents may take the view that they are unwilling to pay which places increasing pressure on the residents and the management company to maintain services.   If you are a lease holder in a management  company, you should be aware that a resident is not entitled to withhold their service charges.  Also included in the lease can be interest rates which are applied to arrears.  This will depend on the lease and the management company.  While the knowledge of knowing that service charges always remain due, the failure of a landlord for example to pay his/her service charge can result in higher charges to compensate until action is taken and the arrears collected.

Some examples:

A developer is looking to sell apartments in your complex which have outstanding service charges.  The sale will not be able to go through until the service charges are paid in full.

I dont want to be subsidising my neighbour who is not paying the service charge.  This is not an option as you are legally obliged to pay your service charge.  The management agent is required to persue all arrears including taking court action and application of interest if applicable.   This also places increased pressure on your neighbours who are still paying.

There are a number of methods to promote timely payment of arrears.

To find out more about how to manage the finances of a management company, call 012871905 or fill in the contact us form on

http://www.blockmanagement.ie/

Looking for a new Managing Agent?

June 24th, 2011

Managing Developments across Wicklow and Dublin. 

Blockmanagement.ie          e: info@kennedywright.ie  012871905

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Developments must be handed over by developers no later than 01 October 2011 under the Multi Unit Development act.  Call our office to find out how you can increase the level of service and save money on your service charges. 

What every residents committee or management company seeks is trouble free, cost efficient management of their Estate or development. The effective running of your development not only enhances the appearance but the value of your home.

Blockmanagement.ie is committed to ensuring that uncompromising standards are met through a transparent and cost efficient service that ensures the long term success and sustainability of your development. 

 

About  Blockmanagement.ie

Blockmanagement.ie has three offices located in Greystones, Tallaght, and Rathmines offering coverage for block management services from Dublin City Centre down to Wicklow.  Blockmanagement.ie trading as Kennedy Property Management and Kennedy Wright Managing Agents have been managing developments varying in size from 12 to 520 units across both commercial and residential developments since 2003.  As the market becomes more open to competition as a result of the Multi Unit Development, Blockmanagement.ie continues to grow as residents are now in a position to hire the agents they want.  Our ongoing growth is testament to our reputation as a premier provider of block and estate management services ensuring the needs of the residents remains the priority.

Our Values

Blockmanagement.ie are dedicated to offering a service that meets the needs and best interests of the development.  Our long term success is based on transparency and looking after the needs of the residents. Our agents will always ensure value for money is achieved through ongoing tendering processes to ensure contractors keep providing value for money.  We are more than happy to provide references from our residents and directors in developments we currently manage.

Quality at Blockmanagement.ie                                   

You can be assured of our experience in managing your development through the provision of financial accounting services, contractor liaison, customer service and emergency assistance.  Blockmanagement.ie are also in a position to offer an unrivalled legal service to ensure the effective running of the development.  With the provision of legal advice at no extra cost, blockmanagement.ie are in a position to ensure corporate compliance of the management company and to provide guidance should legal difficulties arise ensuring any legal costs are eliminated or kept to an absolute minimum.

Additional services

You can be assured that the services you thought were included in our fees actually are included.  Company secretary services are provided as part of our agent fees as part of our open transparency in how we bill our clients. Should you require an additional directors meeting or EGM, these  are included in our fees. Any services will be clearly indicated and highlighted which include Company registration charges of the management company. 

Reporting & Accountability

If you make contact with one of our offices, you can be assured that your queries will be dealt with.  We realise that you are our employer and we have a duty and responsibility to answer all questions and deal with all queries in a timely and efficient manner.  Our retail offices offer the residents an opportunity to call in at any time offering face to face service.

Contact Details

Blockmanagement.ie

www.blockmanagement.ie

info@kennedywright.ie   01 2871905

info@4pm.ie  01 4977705

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New multi unit bill explained

April 26th, 2011

The Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 (the “Act“) was signed into law by President McAleese on 24 January 2011.  Sections 14 and 32 of the Act took effect on 24 January 2011 and the other provisions of the Act are to set to come into effect upon the introduction of subsequent commencement orders later this year. Sections 14 and section 32 provide for a legislative structure of owners management companies (“OMC“) and restrictions on the entry by the OMC into certain contracts respectively.  It is section 15 of the Act that deals with the structure of OMCs of existing, as opposed to, new developments.

It should be noted that under the Act, the developer must transfer the legal ownership of the common areas (or relevant parts) of a development to the relevant OMC prior to the disposal of any units in the development or where the development in question has already been completed, the developer must transfer the common areas to the OMC within 6 months of the Act coming into force.

The Act applies to mixed unit developments in addition to residential only developments.

Key points to note:

(i)    the OMC must be set up at the expense of the developer in a new development;

(ii)    the developer must indemnify the OMC in connection with any losses or damages arising and suffered by the OMC due to any acts or omissions by the developer during the development stage;

(iii)    section 18 makes clear that all service charges are to be agreed by members at an annual general meeting of the OMC;

(iv)    section 19 deals with the subject of an OMC’s sinking fund. It is compulsory to establish such a sinking fund and the Act sets down that each unit shall discharge an amount of €200 per annum (or such other amount as may be agreed by the members) to the sinking fund.

(v)    no OMC may enter into a contract with a contractual period in excess of three (3) years or where a contract provides for a penalty payment where the contract is terminated by an OMC after a period of three years.

If you have any queries in connection with the above, do not hesitate to contact info@kennedywright.ie

This note is not indended to act as legal advice but is for information purposes only.

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Multi Unit Development bill comes into effect on 01 April 2011

March 5th, 2011

The multi unit development bill comes in force as of the 1st April ending the stranglehold over residents in multi unit developments. Under the act, among other requirements, developers will be forced to hand over common areas and control of the management company.

From the 30 September, developers will be legally obliged to handover common areas and control of management companies allowing residents take control how the management company is run and who to appoint as managing agents.  This legislation will make managing companies directly responsible to the residents allowing greater transparency and lower costs as competition opens.

The bill includes a number of other areas concerning living in multi unit developments providing instructions on how management companies are run.  To find out more about the bill see www.blockmanagement.ie or call 012871905.

If you are interested in becoming involved in your management company and wish to find out how savings can be achieved, call our office for a no obligation quote on your service charges.

See post on department of Justice website http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Multi_Unit_Act

Who are the management company?

January 13th, 2011

A common mistake when residents are unhappy with the service they are receiving, they often blame the management company as if it were nothing to do with them.  If you are in a managed estate, then all residents are members of the management company, that includes you.  The managing agent is employed by you the residents which is the management company and the destinction between the two is often mistaken.  Dont worry this is a common mistake.  Unfortunately, there remains a lot of unhappiness about how estates and developments are being run.  Often this can be the management company but also the agent.  If a resident is not happy with the service whether thats the managing agent of companies fault, a common way of trying to voice their concerns is to hold back their service charge.  As a member of the management company, this option is not open to you and you could end up paying additional interest charges. We suggest that if you are not happy with how it is run, then you need to either contact the directors of the management company(usually residents although developers may remain in charge if it has not been handed over) or more actively volunteer to become a director of the management company.  This can happen by getting elected by the residents at the agm.  Normally any interested parties are voted in at an agm.  Main condition is that you must not be in arrears.

For more information on management companies or managing agents call 01 2871905 or e  mail info@kennedywright.ie

See http://www.consumerproperty.ie/your-issues/property-management-membership.html also for more information

Property law may fall at finish line

January 8th, 2011

New bill due to be passed is looking unlikely to be passed according to opposition parties.  See Irish times article from 6 Jan 2011.

Plans to regulate the property industry and set up a house price register look as if they may collapse

PLANS to regulate the property industry, promised for the past five years, as well as the setting up of a national house price register, may collapse in the next two months.

The Property Services (Regulation) Bill 2009 is unlikely to be passed before an election is called, says Pat Rabbitte, the Labour Party’s spokesperson on Justice. Alan Shatter of Fine Gael also believes it will not be “possible to enact this legislation before the election, because of the Government’s failure to act sooner”.

If the bill does not make it across the finish line before an election, plans to license and regulates auctioneers, letting agents and management agents will fall.

The role of the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) – a body set up five years ago but which will have no teeth until the Bill is passed – will be called into question. And the establishment of a national house price database, a job being given to the PSRA, would be delayed.

However, the completely unregulated activities of management agents of apartment complexes, which have become a major issue in the past decade, will be regulated by another piece of legislation, the Multi-Unit Developments Bill, which Mr Rabbitte believes will become law before the election is called. It was passed by the Dáil just before Christmas. However, management agents will remain unlicensed if the Property Services Bill is not passed.

The setting up of an independent authority aimed at “stamping out unscrupulous practices among estate agents and auctioneers” was announced by then Minister for Justice Michael McDowell in October 2005. It was to operate on an interim footing from January 2006 pending passing of legislation that year.

In the event, the Property Services Bill was published in May 2009, passed the second stage in the Dáil in November and has reached committee stage. A Department of Justice spokesperson said that it was now a matter for party whips whether it will be given Dáil time.

Meanwhile, the authority, has been operating out of offices in Navan, Co Meath with a staff of 10 since 2007. It has established a guide for users of property services and a voluntary code of practice; it investigates complaints, but has no authority to discipline rogue agents.

If the Bill is not passed, a new Fine Gael/Labour government is likely to introduce legislation to regulate the property industry, although not necessarily reproducing the current bill. “We believe legislation in this area is a vital necessity and should have been enacted over five years ago. Fine Gael supports the Bill but wants to see it improved substantially,” Alan Shatter said yesterday. “We would certainly publish a far more comprehensive bill in government.”

Mr Rabbitte also believes that regulation of estate agents is vital. “The Labour Party would certainly be committed to legislation to regulate estate agents and auctioneers but would examine if it could be done by an existing body, e.g., the Property Registration Authority ,” says Mr Rabbitte. He has also suggested that the National Consumer Agency might have a role to play.

A house price database promised by the Government last August to establish accurate property values is due to be administered by the PRSA. However, not everyone agrees that it is the right body to do this. Kersten Mehl, president of the Irish Auctioneers & Valuers Institute (IAVI), says that existing bodies – like the Valuation Office, Property Registration Authority and the Revenue Commissioners – already have information needed to produce a database.

Both bodies representing auctioneers want the the bill be passed. Ed Carey, acting chief executive of the Irish Auctioneers & Valuers institute (IAVI), says that it is “concerned that the legislation will get lost in the wilderness; we have sought regulation for many years. Establishing minimum education standards for entry into the business is our big concern”.

Fintan McNamara, chief executive of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers (IPAV), says that there is broad acceptance of the need for regulation but says IPAV is concerned that the cost of running the PSRA (estimated at about €3m a year), which is to be paid by way of levies on agents, could be too great.

To find out more about the NPSRA and who has signed up see http://www.npsra.ie/website/npsra/npsraweb.nsf/page/index-en

Want to know more about the NPSRA E mail info@kennedywright.ie

Update:  The bill was passed and is now the MUD act which entails the handover of developments to the residents of the management company by 01 Oct 2011.

What are the National Consumer agency saying about the new bill?

September 7th, 2010

 

Taken from the National Consumer Agency Website:

The National Consumer Agency has welcomed the Multi-Unit Developments Bill, which was published at the end of May 2009, as it represents a major step forward for the protection of consumers living in apartments and multi-unit developments (MUDs).

The NCA’s Chief Executive, Ann Fitzgerald, said: “With more and more consumers living in multi-unit developments, we have long been aware of the need for regulation of the industry. It was for this reason that the NCA carried out research and published a report on the area in 2006 and set up the subsequent industry Stakeholder Forum to represent consumer interests while the legislation was being drawn up.

“The publication of Bill represents a good day for consumers as many Irish owners multi-unit properties have found themselves in difficult positions arising from the poor operation and management of their developments. The Bill will serve to empower them to have a greater say in the way in which their developments are managed and administered.

“From a consumer perspective there are a number of key areas addressed in the bill that the NCA is very happy to see, including the transfer of the common areas to the ownership of the owners’ management company, changes in voting rights, transparency in the calculation of service charges and the requirement to create a sinking fund.

“These are areas which were highlighted to us through our research as leading to considerable consumer detriment and were the subject of key recommendations made by the NCA.”

Key areas

The following are the key areas addressed in the Bill of benefit to consumers:

  1. Transfer of common areas and extinguishment of beneficial interests: The Bill provides a schedule for the transfer of the common areas to the ownership of the owners’ management company and, most importantly, for the extinguishment of the developer’s beneficial interest on completion of the development. This clarity is most welcome as delays in transfer of ownership and of beneficial interests in common areas have proven a particularly thorny issue for MUD owners. The NCA highlighted this problem in its October 2006 Report, “Management Fees and Service Charges Levied on Owners of Property in Multi-Unit Dwellings”
  2. Voting: The Bill provides that votes shall be allocated on a single vote per unit basis. This responds directly to recommendation 14 of the October 2006 Report. This should obviate previous difficulties relating to “golden votes” being held by developers. The NCA notes, however, that the Bill makes no provisions specific to the voting rights of tenants
  3. Service charges: The Bill provides for clear iteration of cost categories to be included in the calculation of the service charge and a formal process, through a general meeting of the owners’ management company, for the approval of such service charges. This addresses Recommendation 21 of the October 2006 Report
  4. Sinking funds: The Bill establishes a statutory requirement to create a sinking fund. The NCA particularly welcomes this as a means of preserving and protecting the long-term interests of unit owners, as developments age and may require works more substantial than mere care and maintenance. Addresses Recommendation 23 of the October 2006 Report

 A key question you may be wondering about.

Will the new legislation allow the residents appoint a new agent?

There is plans to ensure all management companies are handed over no later than six months after the legislation comes into force although this is subject to change as the bill has yet to be passed.

 

We would like to hear your comments?

 

For more information e mail info@kennedywright.ie or call 01 2871905

What percentile are you? 75% in this brief conversation were not happy with their agent

August 21st, 2010

Which percentile are you? In this case 75% were not happy with their agent.

From a brief conversation between colleagues at work about managing agents.�
‘Hi Katie,  I’m an owner/occupier in a development managed by your office. I finally got around to catching up on my home emails last night ! I read the minutes of the AGM, very helpful when I couldn’t attend, – I wanted to add my thanks to all the directors and those involved in the running and maintenance of Charlesland, and I agree the place is looking really well. I recently had a conversation with work colleagues on management companies and I’m afraid out of four of us, I was the only one to put forward a very positive experience, they were impressed!’

Name is with Kennedy Wright Managing Agents.

www.blockmanagement.ie