The market: Take action to avoid sinking in Mud

Published on: Sep 11, 2011

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Today’s Sunday Times contains a story about the pitfalls with the Multi Unit Development Act:

The long awaited Multi-Unit Developments (Mud) Act finally passed into law earlier this year and further legislation is on the way, but trying to make the Mud stick has left many of Ireland’s estimated 500,000 apartment owners in a new quagmire, simply because the legislation did not take so many current situations into account.

The most important aspect of MUD is its enforcement of the transfer of ownership and control of apartment complexes from the developers to the owners themselves. Unfortunately, the legislation does not tell apartment owners what to do if developers leg it to Switzerland, go into receivership, can’t pay their outstanding debts, or won’t finish a development to the level demanded by law for a transfer to take place.

Apartment owners have a huge mountain to climb. First they need to gather in numbers large enough to be representative — this can prove difficult if only a handful of owners turn up for meetings in 300-unit strong schemes. Then they must appoint directors to shoulder the responsibilities that go with managing larger complexes.

The rest of the article goes on to list problems that some apartment owners have experienced (unrelated to MUD) and promote next weeks talk by Sonia McEntee that we mentioned previously on this website.

It does make one very important point though:

“Some residents are sitting behind their doors in the hope the problems will go away,” says McEntee. “They won’t. They don’t know their entitlements by law, they don’t know what is expected from the developer, and they don’t know how an apartment complex is supposed to be run.”

The article is available on the Sunday Times website (behind the paywall).

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