Irish Times Property Clinic 29th of November 2012
Publishing Date; Thursday the 29th day of November 2012.
Q. I am on the board of the owners' management committee of a multi unit complex in North Dublin. The common areas have been handed over and we are seeking to appoint a new managing agent. However, we are having significant difficulties in securing a lot of the documentation from the incumbent agent and the developer and are concerned that this may not happen once we appoint a new agent. Is there anything we can do? Is there some point in the legislation that requires the agent to do so?
A. I will assume that you are on the board of the owners' management company and not a committee as the difference in legal standing between the two would greatly reduce your ability to involve yourself in such matters.
It would seem that your development is in a state of pre management flux. A new managing agent will need access to the documentation to enable them to operate the services of the management company effectively.
According to the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011, where transfers of the common areas to the OMC have not occurred since the 1st of April 2011, the developer is required to furnish the particulars of Schedule III to the OMC such as stamped and registered counterpart leases for each OMC member, test records of drainage, safety files, warranties and manuals relating to plant and machinery, contracts, development and systems drawings and confirmation that the development is built in accordance with the relevant legislation amongst other criteria.
If the documents are not forthcoming some detective work will be necessary and you may consider appointing a professional to undertake an audit of the various items involved.
I would recommend that you seek legal advice on this matter whilst you have the opportunity to negotiate with the incumbent agent. If it is at all possible, try to ensure an amicable relationship with the incumbent agent before the transfer. You should also ensure that the agent you do select is licensed by the PSRA.
Paul Huberman is a member of the Property & Facilities Management Professional Group of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland
Author: Paul Huberman of H&H Property Management Consultants Ltd
Publish Date: 29/11/2012