Posts Tagged ‘management company’

What is a management company?

Thursday, 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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Why should I pay my service charge?

Monday, 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/

Multi Unit Development bill comes into effect on 01 April 2011

Saturday, 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?

Thursday, 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

Saturday, 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 happens if my service charge is in arrears when I sell my property?

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

The annual service charge must be paid in full for the sale of a property to go through.  Simply, the property can not be sold until all the service charge  owed is paid.  The percentage owed is based on the accounting period e.g. if the property is sold six months into the accounting year then only 50% of the service charge is due.