We are very grateful to John Duffy of Noel Larkin & Associates for his presentation at our meeting of Tuesday 27 November.
John’s presentation provided guidance on the preparation of sinking funds for apartments and multi-unit developments. The consequences of inaction were shown to be very costly. A lively question and answer session followed, where attendees had many queries for John.
Event Notification – Marking 1st Anniversary of “Safe as Houses?” Report
Thursday 13 December marks the first anniversary of the completion of the “Safe as Houses?” report by the all-party Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government. This report recommended that the State establish a redress scheme for homeowners who find themselves having to pay for the remediation of latent defects in their properties, arising through no fault of their own.
We have been asked to share details of an event to mark this first anniversary. It is organised by Beacon South Quarter (Sandyford, Dublin) owners, to highlight their demand that the proposed redress scheme be set up, as proposed a year ago. A dignified protest will be held outside the Kildare Street Gate of Leinster House, between 12.30 pm and 2.00 pm on this coming Wednesday, 12 December. Further details are available on request.
Academic study of apartment law demonstrates the need for reform
Roisin Byrne, Real Estate MSc candidate at DIT, has kindly shared her recent Thesis, entitled “An Examination of the performance of the Multi-Unit Development Act 2011”.
Roisin’s research conclusions are further independent evidence of the urgent need for reform of the MUD Act. Many of her recommendations are broadly in keeping with our own analysis, and suggestions for improvements in the sector.
Roisin’s main recommendations include:
- Tenants in MUDs should be permitted to pay landlord service charges directly to the OMC, and offset the payments against rent due. This attempts to minimise the instances of service withdrawals affecting tenants with landlord owners in arrears.
- In certain estates, there should be no requirement for an OMC. Co-management between residents and local authorities is suggested.
- Training should be provided to OMC directors.
- Where an owner is in arrears, in order for a valid sale to proceed, the vendor must raise a MUD requisition to produce a service charge receipt from the OMC. The OMC should be permitted to withhold such a receipt until it is agreed that sales proceeds will discharge arrears.
- OMCs should be a priority creditor, ranking ahead of other unsecured creditors.
- Every purchaser in a MUD should be required to sign a separate document, indicating their understanding of service charge payment obligations.
- OMCs must make adequate annual provision for sinking funds.
- Receivers should be compelled to honour service charge arrears owing to severely underfunded OMCs.
We are very grateful for Roisin’s agreement to share her work. She kindly recognises the contribution of Network members in participating in her research survey.
We take this opportunity to thank all our participants and supporters for their contributions to our advocacy work over 2018. We wish you a peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year.