December update

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.

Expert Advice – Don’t Miss Out – Meeting 27 November

Learn How To Prevent That Sinking Feeling – Tuesday 27 November 2018

Does your estate have a building maintenance/sinking fund?  Do you know why it should?  How does your OMC start a fund?  What do OMC directors need to know?

What happens if your OMC does not build up money for future replacement of lifts, roofs, water pumps, etc.?  The consequences of inaction for you and your property could be costly.

John Duffy of Noel Larkin & Associates has kindly agreed to help answer these questions, and more, at our meeting on Tuesday 27 November.  John is Chartered Building Surveyor.  He is an expert in the preparation of sinking fund reports for apartments and multi-unit developments.  John’s presentation will conclude with a Q&A session.

Our meeting will update you on our advocacy work since our September meeting.  The usual open forum session will follow- please share your experiences and learn from others.

Ensure to complete our Contact Us form to confirm your attendance.

We will begin at 7pm sharp.

Please join us for tea, coffee and sandwiches from 6.45pm.

Directions to Wood Quay Venue are here.

Housing Agency – MUD Advisor
The Housing Agency is appointing a Multi-Unit Developments advisor.  This is a welcome move to advance best practice in the sector.  Details of the role, and the application process, are available on the Agency’s website.

The serious side of apartment life” – Sunday Times 11 November 2018
We are widely quoted in last weekend’s Sunday Times Ireland edition full-page article “The serious side of apartment life” by Eithne Dunne.  Access is subscriber only, however there is a facility to view free two articles a week; it’s well worth the read.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 27 November.  Be sure to let us know you’re coming!

Sinking Funds, November meeting

Sinking Funds – SCSI report

You may have seen the report issued this week by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland.

Sinking Funds in Apartments – Facing the Challenge” is a hugely valuable contribution to the reform agenda for the sector.  The report echoes much of the material we have landed with Government and others in recent months.

We were glad to have the opportunity to provide comments on a draft of the report, and to attend the launch at the Society’s PMFM Conference in Croke Park.

Newstalk FM

If you missed our discussion of apartment management with Ivan Yates on The Hard Shoulder on 10 October, you can catch up here.  The discussion starts about 15 minutes into the recording.

November meeting

Our November meeting is scheduled for Wood Quay on Tuesday 27th.

We will hold a session around the preparation of Sinking Funds budgets.

Our usual open forum will provide you with the opportunity to raise problems and share information.

We’ll update you further in early November.