Cllr Paul Hogan (SF ) has hit out at “exorbitant fees” charged by some management companies of apartment complexes.
Cllr Hogan told Monday’s meeting of the Athlone Municipal District that many people who bought an apartment from a developer are being asked to pay “huge money” for run of the mill jobs like cutting grass and painting walls in their ownership. He called for further regulation of the system and for the council to open correspondence with Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, on the issue.
Independent councillor, Michael O’Brien, supported the motion. However, he added that there is hope for those who find themselves in this situation, due to the fact that when you buy a home you automatically become a member of the management company itself. Members are entitled to an annual meeting to discuss and set costs for jobs of the kind listed, he explained, but the problem is that the meetings are not taking place.
Cllr O’Brien said it is important that the owners of properties in apartment complexes call on the management agent to ensure these meetings happen and that they have the say they are entitled to.
Cllr Hogan added that legislation dictates that only a vote of 75 per cent on issues of this kind can carry, and that it has been known for a management company to own more than 25 per cent of the apartments in a complex, meaning they can always protect their interests. This, he said, needs to change.
It was determined that the council will write a letter to the Housing Department detailing their concerns.