Proposals to make property management companies more accountable to residents with clear rules on AGMs and requirements for detailed financial accounts to be made available, must be made into law as soon as possible.
This is the view of Labour Cllr Billy Cameron. He has welcomed the publication of the Law Reform Commission of its final report and legislative recommendations on property management companies.
Cllr Cameron has tabled a motion with the Galway City Council calling on the Environment Minister John Gormley to bring forward the long awaited legislation.
Property management companies are a relatively new phenomenon and according to Cllr Cameron, “one which has caused an increasing level of frustration for new home-buyers”, resulting in “frequent calls” seeking information.
Cllr Cameron believes the legislation will clear up complications, confusion, problems between developer and residents, and make the companies more accountable to residents.
He says a major part of the LRC’s proposal is the establishment of the Owners Management Company, to which the property developer would be legally required to transfer the legal title of any new development. Such a company would be structured on a strict one vote per residence basis with the prohibition of weighted voting.
“Weighted voting is a cynical mechanism that unscrupulous developers have used in the past to maintain control over management companies despite only retaining a small proportion of the residences,” said Cllr Cameron. “It is proposed that all management agents be regulated by the National Property Services Regulatory Authority.”
Cllr Cameron has also welcomed LRC recommendations for existing developments, such as clear rules on management company AGMs; requirement of homeowners to be provided with detailed financial accounts; legal requirement for the establishment of a sinking fund for all developments; and the possibility for existing developments to convert to an owners management company.