A property management company is made up of all the owners of apartments in a development. It is legally responsible for maintaining the standard of the development. This means that you, and the other owners in the apartment development, are responsible for the upkeep of the apartments and of all the common areas. Like all companies, the management company must stick to rules detailed in its ‘Memorandum and Articles of Association’. You should be given a copy of the house rules when you buy your apartment or house. Often Management companies appoint a management agent like Macfar to ensure the company is meeting its finical and legal obligations and to ensure that the common areas are maintained to the highest standard.
Management companies employ professional firms known as managing agents to provide legal, financial and maintenance services in housing and multi unit developments. The managing agent and the management company are two very different entities. The managing agent works under the instructions of the management company.
Typical services provided by a managing agent are as follows:
Service charges are the annual fees that property owners pay for services provided by their housing or apartment development’s management company. These pay for the upkeep of common areas and may cover other services such as refuse collection or landscaping. Most importantly they cover the insurance costs for your development. This is often the most expensive bill a management company will have each year. Service charges are not an optional payment as they are part of the terms and conditions of your contract to buy the unit. Once you conclude the contract, you have an ongoing legal obligation to pay these charges, usually on an annual basis. At Macfar we aim to reduce service charges year on year by sourcing the most competitive quotes and implementing our effective credit control process. We encourage all members of the management company to engage and pay their service charges. Our proven track record has shown that we can enhance a developmental and maintain service while reducing service charges.
The primary purpose of the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 is to ensure the timely transfer of common areas of multi-unit developments to the owners’ management company which is made up of unit owners in the development. The Act also contains detailed provisions concerning the management and operation of owners’ management companies, including rules relating to the holding of annual general meetings; the calculation of service charges; the establishment of sinking funds and the making of house rules. The legislation applies to multi-unit developments containing residential units only and to mixed-use developments containing residential units. It will also apply to housing estates which have owners’ management companies. The Act requires that the common areas be transferred to the owners’ management company prior to sale of the first residential unit. Where no sinking fund has been established, such a fund must be put in place within 18 months of the act i.e. by 30 September 2012 at the latest. As regards voting rights in owners’ management companies, the general rule for residential developments is that one vote attaches to each residential unit. In mixed-use developments, other voting arrangements may apply as long as they are fair and equitable. The Act establishes a new Circuit Court jurisdiction to deal with disputes between parties.