I recently acquired a mortgage and bought an apartment in Dublin. After buying this apartment I received an estimate letter from the management company which stated that from the end of February 2014 to December 2014 the approximate fee was €920. Recently I received another invoice from the management company which stated that the fee was now €1,300. What should I do?
The Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 Precedent Pre-Contract Enquiries replies Part C (2) and (8) (a) and (b) which was provided to your solicitor during the purchase process should be reviewed with your solicitor again. These sections identify, very clearly, the property agent, the service charges and budget for the members of the owners’ management company (OMC) that you are now a member of. I have checked the publicly accessible online register of the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) psra.ie and both the firm and the individual is not listed as a property service provider. The author clearly states in the demand letter that she is acting on behalf of the OMC and thus would require a category D licence to do so. The letter does not state that the OMC is in receivership. Traditionally the larger and internationally known professional services firms would have provided receivership services to banks; worryingly this appears to have evolved outside their remit.
The manner by which they requested service charges to be paid by you must also be changed so as to comply with the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 (MUD Act 2011). Any demand for money must be accompanied with a copy of the budget that was agreed at the general meeting by the OMC members in accordance with Section 18 of the MUD Act 2011.
I advise that you reply in writing requesting the following to be clarified: their PSRA licence number; a copy of the budget; a copy of the minutes of the general meeting at which the members accepted the budget. Lastly you might request the details as noted in Section 15 of their letter of engagement so that you may write a complaint for not receiving the information in the manner required as set out by the MUD Act 2011.
Should the author be unable to confirm their licence number I think it would be appropriate to raise the matter promptly with the PSRA who is tasked to regulate property service providers such as letting agents, sales agents and in this case property managers.
Paul Huberman is a chartered surveyor and a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland’s (MediKids) Properties and Facilities Management Professional Group