Frequently Asked Questions
The Management Company
Q What is a management company?
A A management company is a corporate entity formed for the purposes of management and administration of a multi-unit development. This is usually a company limited by shares or by guarantees.
Q Who is the management company?
A The management company consists of all owners of properties in the development.
Q Who is in control of the management company?
A Like all limited companies the Board of Directors are responsible for all key decisions in the management company.
Q How do I become a director of the management company?
A To become a Director of a management company you must put your name forward at an Annual General Meeting. Your nomination must then be voted by other members of the management company.
Q What are my responsibilities as a Management Company Director?
A The role of the Directors is a voluntary role and all directors must act in the best interests of all the members of the management company. These responsibilities include ensuring compliance with all statutory & regulatory obligations on the management company.
Q What is a residents’ management committee and how does it differ to the board of directors?
A Usually, at the start of an estate/development an ad-hoc owners’ committee is formed to liaise with the management agent and/or developer on estate management issues. Although the owners’ committee has no legal standing the committee members often volunteer as Directors when the developers eventually handover the estate to the members.
The Managing Agent
Q Who is the management agent?
A The management agent is a person or company employed by the Board of Directors to carry out day to day management functions of the management company.
Q Why does the management company require a managing agent?
A As the Board of Directors act in a voluntary capacity it often makes practical sense to delegate day to day management functions to an agent. The agent should be experienced and also have expertise in the area of statutory and regulatory requirements for the management company.
Q What does the managing agent do?
A The managing agent’s duties include collection of service charge, repairs & maintenance, communication with members, financial management including preparation of accounts for audit and insurance management.
Q How do I contact my Managing Agent?
A The agents contact details will be displayed on all of their correspondence and their website.
Service Charges Explained
Q What Determines Service Charges in Private Residential Estates?
A The service charge is determined by the apportionments detailed Head Lease of the management company and the annual running costs of management of the multi-unit development.
Q Who decides what I pay in service charges?
A Each year the agent compiles a draft budget of costs and this is presented to the Board of Directors who may suggest amendments. When the amendments are made the Board of Directors will approve the budget. The budget is then discussed and approved at an owners meeting before service charge notices are sent to individual members.
Q What is my lease for and is it important?
A The Head Lease is very important and sets out the apportionment ratios for each unit type. This affects how much service charge you pay each year.
Q Why has my service charge increased?
A The management requirements for a multi-unit development changes from year to year. An increase in your service charge may be due to additional maintenance works that are scheduled for the year ahead.
Q How can I pay my service charge?
A You can pay your service charge by cheque, bank draft, postal order or direct debit/standing order or credit card.
Q When do I pay my service charge?
A You must pay your service charge at the start of every financial year.
Q My service charge account is in arrears – how can I resolve the situation?
A If you are in arrears immediately contact your management agent as soon as possible. Failure to do so may result in legal proceedings being taken against you by the management company.
Q I am selling my property do I have to continue to pay your demands for service charges?
A Yes, the service charge remains on your property. The buyer’s solicitor will insist that the property is not conveyed until all outstanding service charges are discharges.
Q Invoices and statements are not in my name?
A This may be because your solicitor has not contacted the management company to advise that you now own the property. Please contact the management agent who will advise.
Q What are my rights and where can I find out more?
A For further information on your rights as a member of an Owners Management Company please contact the National Consumer Agency.
Q What do I do if I want to complain?
A If you have any complaints/queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our office by telephone at 01- 4264890.
Q What information on the management company am I entitled to?
A As a member of the management company you are entitled to view the company’s audited accounts, copies of the block insurance policy and any other relevant financial and operational information.
Q What communications should I receive from the management company?
A You should receive every year a breakdown of the costs involved in management of your estate. This should include a proposed budget, description of services and the third party contractors used.
Q What should I do if I am purchasing or selling a property in a managed estate?
A You should contact solicitor to advise on the legal implications of living in a privately managed estate. You should also contact your managing agent to ensure that your solicitor has forwarded details of the purchase/sale to the management company.
Q What is a sinking fund?
A A sinking fund/building investment fund is a reserve fund established to finance long term maintenance projects that will arise over the lifetime of a multi-unit development. As these costs can be very expensive it is essential that a sinking fund is created for all management companies to ensure that the members do not have to pay large levies to pay for the works when they arise.
Repairs & Maintenance
Q How do I advise FPL of a repair or fault identified where I live?
A Please contact our head office on 01- 4264890 or email email@example.com.
Q How do I contact the managing agents in the case of an emergency?
A FPL operates an out-of-office emergency line at no additional charge. In the case of an emergency (fire, flood, security breach) please ring 087 2783869 .
Q What repairs and maintenance is the management company responsible for?
A The management company is responsible to repairs to the common areas only. The management company is not responsible for any repairs and maintenance works inside your apartment/house.
Q Can I engage a contractor to undertake works on behalf of the management company?
A No, the management company alone has responsibility to authorise contractors to undertake works in a development.
Q What are house rules?
A The House Rules are a set of regulations for living in a multi-unit development that all residents must adhere to. The rules are laid out in the Head Lease signed by all members on close of sale; House rules should be provided to every owner and should be displayed in the communal areas in the development.
The Multi-Unit Development Act
Q What is the Multi-Unit Development Bill?
A The Multi-Unit Development Bill has been enacted to improve the regulation of multi-unit developments and the governance of management companies in such developments.
Q How will this affect me as a member of a residents management company?
A The Bill is designed to give greater transparency & control to homeowners in multi-unit developments. It aims to tackle many of the issues that have arisen in the area of service charges, handover of estates and general meetings.
Q What is the Property Services Regulatory Bill?
A The Property Services Regulatory Bill aims to regulate property professionals involved in the area of selling, management and letting of property. The Bill will set out a new licensing system, standards of education and procedures for investigation of malpractice.