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.
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 a representative 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.