Irish Times Property Clinic 17th day of July 2014.
Publishing Date; Thursday the 17th day of July 2014.
Q.I sit on the board of directors of the owners’ management company for our block of apartments. We would like to take on a property management agent but are unsure of how to go about it. What do we need to check for before engaging with a company and what services will they provide typically?
Some agents range from very affordable to more expensive depending on their level of expertise and their level of service.
A. A property manager is required to hold a category D licence with the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA).The PSRA website will list all the property management agents that are currently licensed. A licensed property service provider will hold professional indemnity insurance and a minimum level of experience and qualification.
If you are seeking a highly competent agent it would be advisable to seek an agent that is a member of a professional reputable organisation in that field.Associations and societies require their members to undertake continual professional development and have codes of conduct that governs their members whereas the PSRA have yet to publish their code of practice for licence D holders.
A licensed property manager would traditionally provide four main services; financial management, asset management, professional services and company secretarial. All of these categories have many expansive sub-categories.
The letter of engagement is the contract that binds the property manager to the owners’ management company (OMC). This document is prescribed by the PSRA and can be downloaded from their website. Surplus services can be added to the appendix whereas the main body of the contract cannot be manipulated so as to ensure a market framework for contracts is maintained.
A development that is run by a competent property manager will benefit from streamlined management, pricing efficiencies and informed knowledge of the diverse issues facing OMCs.
It is advisable to investigate what services the agent contracts out to the open market and what are provided directly to the OMC by them.
For more information on the role of a property manager, the Property and Facilities Management Professional Group of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) has recently launched a guide to ‘Chartered Surveyors & Property Managers of Multi-Unit Developments (MUDs)’ which is available for free to download on scsi.ie
Paul Huberman is a chartered surveyor and sits on the Property & Facilities Management Professional Group Committee of the SCSI www.scsi.ie
Author: Paul Huberman of H&H Property Management Consultants Ltd
Publish Date: 17/07/2014