Irish Times Property Clinic 4th day of September 2014.
Publishing Date; Thursday the 4th day of September 2014.
Q. Our apartment complex has recently experienced a series of burglaries. It would appear that the burglars accessed the complex via a gate which is left frequently unlocked, allowing members of the public to access the complex. Despite numerous complaints by myself and a number of other tenants to theownermanagementcompany and the letting agent, no action has been taken. Can you explain the responsibilities of theownermanagementcompany and the letting agent to tenants in this situation?
A. The legislation that the members of the OMC should be familiar with is the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 and the Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011. The directors of the OMC should be familiar with these and the various Companies Acts. The letting agent acts for a landlord and is tasked with renting the property only. Ultimately the landlord of the property is responsible for their tenants. The issue of providing accommodation that ensures peaceful enjoyment to the occupants rests with the property owners.
The directors of the OMC can be identified by conducting a company search online; you could send them a registered letter and advise them of their obligations to the occupants of the building such as the security concerns and call on them to address the issues.
Alternatively, and unfortunately, the development in which you reside may have been acquired by and be fully let and run by a fund or REIT. These commercial entities are not obliged to employ a licensed property service provider and can provide the services to their tenants with their own unlicensed staff. This poses a conundrum in the delivery of quality asset management if the owner owns many units and the effect this may have on the assets and occupants long-term. This is a concern as these operators do not require a property service provider’s licence and as such may not have the minimum qualifications that similar owner-occupier multi-unit developments enjoy with a licensed property managing agent. The staff working in the REITs or fund management companies are not answerable to theProperty Services Regulatory Authority(PSRA) even though the tenants are members of the public.
Paul Huberman is a chartered surveyor and sits on the property and facilities management professional group committee of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), www.scsi.ie
Author: Paul Huberman of H&H Property Management Consultants Ltd
Publish Date: 04/11/2014