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Old 12-06-2006, 03:16 PM
liamwoods liamwoods is offline
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Default Management Company Problems (Apartments)

I moved into a new development of mostly apartment in D.15 about 2 years ago. Building has only just finished in the last 5 - 6 months. Between the management company and the builder a lot of residents are upset:

1) For over six months after moving waste facilities were not set up for the block I live in.

2) 'Common areas' were not landscaped for the same period, also there was no carpet laid in the hallways. (Funny enough the builders done a great big clean up to launch their final phase, however this was short lived as most units sold fast). Also, all cars and apartment windows could not be kept clean for one day with the dirt/dust.

3) The builder has never allocated ANY guest parking. Each apartment came with one parking space. A second space was an extra E15, 000. I bought one but very few other people did. Most units would have more than one car owner. For the first year I could rarely get parking. The management company ignored my requests to even put up private parking signs or introduce clamping.

4) In the last few weeks a number of apartments on the first and ground floors have become flooded with sewage. Apparently the builder fired a team of plumbers during construction that sabotaged the plumbing with bricks. Now the management fees are going up (By a few hundred) to deal with all these extra claims.

5) At least 10 apartments have been broken into this year. It turns out you need merely give the apartment doors a good push and you can break the door jambs. Poor design. Only in the few weeks was this problem addressed by putting locks on hallway doors, which is not ideal, but safe at least.

It is my opinion that management of the development was handed over from the builders far to early in this development. The management company have of course been charging since day one of ‘closing’. I took it up with them that it was unfair to pay the full year maintenance fee, when the service they were charging for was barely existent. They simply ignored me until it was time to pay for the second year. I refused and sent them a number of letters and emails. I was told 'somebody would get back to me'. 2 weeks letter I received a letter from their solicitors threatening to take me to court. They backed off when I got mine to write back.

My concern is that I still have not paid them ( It's about E 1,000 pa) and there may be insurance implications and they may be able to put a lean on the property. Would I be able to take them to the small claims court as an individual or does the residents association have to do this as a group? Apparently, because the builder is still holding 2 units advertised for sale, we can't elect another management company yet? These are just some of my problems, most people I know in the development have more of there own, are really fed up with them.

Any suggestions or comments?

Should I just bite the bullet and pay up?
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Old 12-06-2006, 03:26 PM
CCOVICH CCOVICH is offline
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Default Re: Management Company Problems (Apartments)

Just to clarify-is it the management agent and the builder you are upset with-as opposed to the management company, who is yourself and your fellow owners (presumably). Has an agent been appointed? Do you have representation on the board? Who do you complain to? The managing agent? Or directly to the builder? I won't defend all agents, or even all companies that provide agent services, but our agent has been top class in fighting our case with the builder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamwoods
1) For over six months after moving waste facilities were not set up for the block I live in.
But I presume that you have waste facilities, but mabe they are not as convenient as you would like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamwoods
2) 'Common areas' were not landscaped for the same period, also there was no carpet laid in the hallways. (Funny enough the builders done a great big clean up to launch their final phase, however this was short lived as most units sold fast). Also, all cars and apartment windows could not be kept clean for one day with the dirt/dust.
It sounds similar to our own situation, and althought it is frustrating, it's not uncommon for new developments as far as I know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamwoods
3) The builder has never allocated ANY guest parking. Each apartment came with one parking space. A second space was an extra E15, 000. I bought one but very few other people did. Most units would have more than one car owner. For the first year I could rarely get parking. The management company ignored my requests to even put up private parking signs or introduce clamping.
If you have bought a space, can you put in a bollard or similar to prevent others parking there? Has the agent/company said why they will not introduce clamping? It really isn't on that you are prevented from using your assigned space, or a space that you have bought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamwoods
4) In the last few weeks a number of apartments on the first and ground floors have become flooded with sewage. Apparently the builder fired a team of plumbers during construction that sabotaged the plumbing with bricks. Now the management fees are going up (By a few hundred) to deal with all these extra claims.
I don't see why you should have to foot the bill for this-how long has the builder been off site? Have they actually handed over the development to the owners?

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamwoods
5) At least 10 apartments have been broken into this year. It turns out you need merely give the apartment doors a good push and you can break the door jambs. Poor design. Only in the few weeks was this problem addressed by putting locks on hallway doors, which is not ideal, but safe at least.
What is not ideal about the locks issue if it is safe? Is it a fire issue?

A lot of the issues would appear to be the responsibility of the developer if they have not yet handed over the development to the owners, or if they are not long off site. There should be a common area snag list that they have to address.

It sounds messy. While there is not much that in my opinion can be done about some of the issues (1) in particular, there appears to be several serious issues that need to be addressed by the agent/company. They should at least have the courtesy to treat with the owners on any serious concerns that the raise.

It certainly sounds like a number of you (owners) should get together and seek legal advice on the issue. This will cost money, but sounds like it may be worth it. If the developer still has de facto control of the management company (by virtue of the fact that they still own a number of units), it won't be easy to come to a speedy or indeed acceptable solution.

The difficulty with not paying fees is that it can hinder you if you wish to sell the property.

None of this may be of much help/comfort-the most constructive solution I can come up with is to canvass opinion among other owners and engage a solicitor (if they agree) to see if they can assist. Maybe you should also contact a local TD or Counciller-although I'm not sure if they will be of any use, or have the appetite to have a go at a developer (enough said on that). Joe Duffy will no doubt get excited about something like this-but that may not get you anywhere either.

Otherwise, pay your fees, and sell up.

All the best.
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