Published on: Nov 29, 2009
An article in today’s Irish Independent lists some ways that apartment owners are being unfairly treated by their managing agents.
Mark Fisher, managing director of Global Property Care Group, has lifted the lid on a range of practices which he alleges are commonplace in the management of Ireland’s 500,000 apartment units.
He has revealed that his own firm has been offered “kickbacks” by plumbers and cleaning service firms looking for maintenance contracts on the apartment complexes he manages.
“For example, in the case of a cleaning company, they would submit a tender price for the development of say €50,000 a year. We were told that if we guaranteed them that business, they would give us a €5,000 ‘rebate’ for that year.
Unfortunately this isn’t news to most apartment owners. So what can you do about it? The most effective thing is to be more proactive in the running of your complex. If you can, try to get elected to the board of directors. Failing that, set up or join a residents association. Start pricing work yourself, get out there and talk to cleaning companies, landscaping companies and repairmen. Knocking on doors is the only way you can tell if your agent is being competitive.