A thread for Q&A on Management Companies / Agents etc

jammydodgers

New Member
Further to some questions raised on another thread I thought it would be a good idea to create one as a Q&A.

I will start by answering as many of spoons excellent questions as I can, my answers are in blue. You might keep in mind that the apartmentowners website is not specific to the manor so many of thses items do not apply here & hence do not have a cost against them in our budget.

Managing Agent fees

Unless it’s a very small estate or block, you’ll usually hire a company to do a lot of the leg work for you. This gives you one central point of contact, one person who knows all the finances and all the bills, someone for residents to ring and report problems, etc. This fee depends on the size of your complex, the amount of work involved, etc. It generally increases by 5% per year. For large complexes (over 200 units), a sample fee would be 150-180 per unit. Some services supplied by the managing agent will not be included in this. You should see them separately on your accounts, they could be things like company secretary, secretarial, out of hours service, etc.

This i understand as it would appear to be alot simplier to have a Management company.

The company are the sharholders, in our case each household in the estate. The agent is Access Property who carry out the functions described

Insurance – block and public liability

Since you don’t own the walls around your apartment, the underground car parks or the grass areas and footpaths, you don’t have to insure them like you would in a house. Instead the management company must do this for you. This means that public liability, malicious damage, fires, leaks, etc are covered by the company.

This seems a bit confusing as i stated before if the excess is higher than your actual management fee how in reality can you claim if you had damage or a leak? why is the insurance THAT high

Indeed, insurance in the manor is very high, this is due to the claims history within the estate, the excess was increased recently inorder to achieve savings, though these were small it was the best that could be done at the time. As our claims are now lower we are building up no claims bonus which will result in lower premia in the future

Fire System maintenance

Fire systems break, people pull wires lose, things go wrong. You’ll need someone to examine your system and fix any faults. Generally this happens two or four times a year but there’ll be a budgeted amount for extra callouts if something happens in between those checks.

This must only apply for complexes so not applicable for Newcastle Manor? correct ans as such it it not an item in the budget

Electricity for common areas

This will cover things like lights in stairwells, lights in underground carparks, gates, intercom systems, outdoor lights, etc. In a lot of complexes, it can amount to tens of thousands of euros per year.

Fair enough but do the houses who's fees are so much smaller not avail of these services too?

the only common area lighting is street lighting, this is budgeted for equally across all home types in the manor

Sinking Fund

This is an amount of money put away for a rainy day. It means that when large expenditure is needed (for example to repair lifts or repaint the outer walls), people won’t be asked for a sudden hike in their service charges.

How much is allocated for this service?

I will check the status of this & get back to you

Cleaning

This figure depends on the estate or block. Generally it includes tidying the interior common areas and outside of the apartments

We have never experienced this service even in our first year of living here when funds WERE available? unfortunately there are no funds available to cover these costs. Only the essential items like insurance & streetlighting can be paid for due to so many outstanding fees owed. While I appreciate your frusration with holding fees on this basis is a vicious circle. As I only moved here in '09 I can't comment on anything that took place before then

Waste disposal

Unless every has their own bin and uses bin tags, you’ll probably have a communal waste disposal company where the charge is split between all the units.

WE pay for our own bins so this also does not apply.apartments have refuse collection included in their budget, it is not a costed item in any other home type's budget


Window cleaning

Usually charged to people living above the ground floor because they can’t safely clean their own windows.
Has never happened! it has not - see my response on cleaning above

Accounts

This service is usually provided by the managing agent but can sometimes be billed out.

Auditors

The owners (not the management company) hire an audit firm each year to examine the accounts and make sure they look okay before they’re submitted to the AGM and the CRO. It’s one of the ways the owners can ensure the company is being run properly.

CRO Fees

There are annual charges associated with filing returns, late fines, changing the names of the directors, etc.

Directors Insurance

This is an insurance policy that pays the legal costs of any court case your directors are involved in.


my question here is where are the services except really building insurance????? through all my posts the fees still remain unjustified!

again only the essentials can be provided if everyone doesn't pay, essentially those who do pay their fees are covering the cost of lighting etc for those who don't

Landscaping

Grass needs cutting and unfortunately most councils will refuse to do it in a managed estate (Meath CoCo will refuse to cut it in an unmanaged estate!). This could also cover the cost of plating new plants each year.

surely each area could do their own upkeep and not have to hire a private company i would have no problem sharing responsibilty for this i do own a shears!

Good idea - there would be a roster and some machinery required to look after the large green areas. If you feel this is something you would like to manage, perhaps e-mail the board?

Security

This is an option many larger estates like to have to discourage antisocial behaviour or crime.

does not apply, my car has been broken into twice since moving in 6 years ago.

correct and as such it it not an item in our budget

Drains maintenance

In most estates, the council will refuse to maintain the sewage and rainwater drains under the apartments. This means you’ll have to have a support contract with a company who will keep an eye on them and clean them out when things go back.

we have often experienced bad smellling drains this i was told was not the responsibility of the management company and to call a plumber?

Issues within your own home are your responsibility - in our case this refers to the common areas only - i.e streets

Vermin Control

Depending on the location, you may need to set rat traps or poison boxes to keep vermin under control. It’s an unfortunate fact of city living.

i believe there is a serious problem from the unused CRECHE site, maybe this could have been converted to a carpark kill two birds?

good suggestion, unfortunately as there is just no money available due to the culture of non payment, again essential services only can be supplied if funds are with held - vicious circle

Lift maintenance & support

They might be a life saver when the alternative is to haul your shopping up four flights of stairs but you don’t want to get stuck. If you do, you’ll be glad that your management company has paid for someone to be on the other end of the phone so they can come rescue you. Lifts, like everything else in life, require regular maintenance to keep them running. If you have a lift, expect high service charges – these guys don’t come cheap.

also does not apply?

correct and as such it is not a costed item in our budget
Gate maintenance

If you have gates, they’ll break down. An annual service charge means someone will come out to fix it quickly and without having to “order a part” which could cause delays.

also does not apply correct and as such it is not a costed item in our budget

I hope this helps, anything else ask away

JD
 

spoons

New Member
Further to some questions raised on another thread I thought it would be a good idea to create one as a Q&A.

I will start by answering as many of spoons excellent questions as I can, my answers are in blue. You might keep in mind that the apartmentowners website is not specific to the manor so many of thses items do not apply here & hence do not have a cost against them in our budget.

Managing Agent fees

Unless it’s a very small estate or block, you’ll usually hire a company to do a lot of the leg work for you. This gives you one central point of contact, one person who knows all the finances and all the bills, someone for residents to ring and report problems, etc. This fee depends on the size of your complex, the amount of work involved, etc. It generally increases by 5% per year. For large complexes (over 200 units), a sample fee would be 150-180 per unit. Some services supplied by the managing agent will not be included in this. You should see them separately on your accounts, they could be things like company secretary, secretarial, out of hours service, etc.

This i understand as it would appear to be alot simplier to have a Management company.

The company are the sharholders, in our case each household in the estate. The agent is Access Property who carry out the functions described

Insurance – block and public liability

Since you don’t own the walls around your apartment, the underground car parks or the grass areas and footpaths, you don’t have to insure them like you would in a house. Instead the management company must do this for you. This means that public liability, malicious damage, fires, leaks, etc are covered by the company.

This seems a bit confusing as i stated before if the excess is higher than your actual management fee how in reality can you claim if you had damage or a leak? why is the insurance THAT high

Indeed, insurance in the manor is very high, this is due to the claims history within the estate, the excess was increased recently inorder to achieve savings, though these were small it was the best that could be done at the time. As our claims are now lower we are building up no claims bonus which will result in lower premia in the future

Fire System maintenance

Fire systems break, people pull wires lose, things go wrong. You’ll need someone to examine your system and fix any faults. Generally this happens two or four times a year but there’ll be a budgeted amount for extra callouts if something happens in between those checks.

This must only apply for complexes so not applicable for Newcastle Manor? correct ans as such it it not an item in the budget

Electricity for common areas

This will cover things like lights in stairwells, lights in underground carparks, gates, intercom systems, outdoor lights, etc. In a lot of complexes, it can amount to tens of thousands of euros per year.

Fair enough but do the houses who's fees are so much smaller not avail of these services too?

the only common area lighting is street lighting, this is budgeted for equally across all home types in the manor

Sinking Fund

This is an amount of money put away for a rainy day. It means that when large expenditure is needed (for example to repair lifts or repaint the outer walls), people won’t be asked for a sudden hike in their service charges.

How much is allocated for this service?

I will check the status of this & get back to you

Cleaning

This figure depends on the estate or block. Generally it includes tidying the interior common areas and outside of the apartments

We have never experienced this service even in our first year of living here when funds WERE available? unfortunately there are no funds available to cover these costs. Only the essential items like insurance & streetlighting can be paid for due to so many outstanding fees owed. While I appreciate your frusration with holding fees on this basis is a vicious circle. As I only moved here in '09 I can't comment on anything that took place before then

Waste disposal

Unless every has their own bin and uses bin tags, you’ll probably have a communal waste disposal company where the charge is split between all the units.

WE pay for our own bins so this also does not apply.apartments have refuse collection included in their budget, it is not a costed item in any other home type's budget


Window cleaning

Usually charged to people living above the ground floor because they can’t safely clean their own windows.
Has never happened! it has not - see my response on cleaning above

Accounts

This service is usually provided by the managing agent but can sometimes be billed out.

Auditors

The owners (not the management company) hire an audit firm each year to examine the accounts and make sure they look okay before they’re submitted to the AGM and the CRO. It’s one of the ways the owners can ensure the company is being run properly.

CRO Fees

There are annual charges associated with filing returns, late fines, changing the names of the directors, etc.

Directors Insurance

This is an insurance policy that pays the legal costs of any court case your directors are involved in.


my question here is where are the services except really building insurance????? through all my posts the fees still remain unjustified!

again only the essentials can be provided if everyone doesn't pay, essentially those who do pay their fees are covering the cost of lighting etc for those who don't

Landscaping

Grass needs cutting and unfortunately most councils will refuse to do it in a managed estate (Meath CoCo will refuse to cut it in an unmanaged estate!). This could also cover the cost of plating new plants each year.

surely each area could do their own upkeep and not have to hire a private company i would have no problem sharing responsibilty for this i do own a shears!

Good idea - there would be a roster and some machinery required to look after the large green areas. If you feel this is something you would like to manage, perhaps e-mail the board?

Security

This is an option many larger estates like to have to discourage antisocial behaviour or crime.

does not apply, my car has been broken into twice since moving in 6 years ago.

correct and as such it it not an item in our budget

Drains maintenance

In most estates, the council will refuse to maintain the sewage and rainwater drains under the apartments. This means you’ll have to have a support contract with a company who will keep an eye on them and clean them out when things go back.

we have often experienced bad smellling drains this i was told was not the responsibility of the management company and to call a plumber?

Issues within your own home are your responsibility - in our case this refers to the common areas only - i.e streets

Vermin Control

Depending on the location, you may need to set rat traps or poison boxes to keep vermin under control. It’s an unfortunate fact of city living.

i believe there is a serious problem from the unused CRECHE site, maybe this could have been converted to a carpark kill two birds?

good suggestion, unfortunately as there is just no money available due to the culture of non payment, again essential services only can be supplied if funds are with held - vicious circle

Lift maintenance & support

They might be a life saver when the alternative is to haul your shopping up four flights of stairs but you don’t want to get stuck. If you do, you’ll be glad that your management company has paid for someone to be on the other end of the phone so they can come rescue you. Lifts, like everything else in life, require regular maintenance to keep them running. If you have a lift, expect high service charges – these guys don’t come cheap.

also does not apply?

correct and as such it is not a costed item in our budget
Gate maintenance

If you have gates, they’ll break down. An annual service charge means someone will come out to fix it quickly and without having to “order a part” which could cause delays.

also does not apply correct and as such it is not a costed item in our budget

I hope this helps, anything elsei ask away

JD
thank you JD for that feedback, it's just very frustrating as it does not seem that there will ever come a stage when everyone will pay fees especially in the apts and duplexes so i think we need a meeting to discuss ways on which fees can be lowered something has to give in all this. thanks again for replying.
spoons
 

jammydodgers

New Member
My pleasure spoons.

I doubt anyone would disagree that reductions in fees are the only way to go. In this first year as owner-managers savings on previous years were achieved (and accordingly fees reduced) and it is the intention to continue to reduce costs & hence fees year on year. If you would like a copy of the figures please email either brian@propertymgmt.ie or newcastlemanor@gmail.com requesting the budget for 2010/2011 and they will be emailed to you. I would upload here but the files are quite large.

I can assure you that all ideas and suggestions in relation to all matters in the estate are taken seriously and welcomed.

regards

JD
 

spoons

New Member
My pleasure spoons.

I doubt anyone would disagree that reductions in fees are the only way to go. In this first year as owner-managers savings on previous years were achieved (and accordingly fees reduced) and it is the intention to continue to reduce costs & hence fees year on year. If you would like a copy of the figures please email either brian@propertymgmt.ie or newcastlemanor@gmail.com requesting the budget for 2010/2011 and they will be emailed to you. I would upload here but the files are quite large.

I can assure you that all ideas and suggestions in relation to all matters in the estate are taken seriously and welcomed.

regards

JD
JD do you know when the next meeting is scheduled for?
 

jammydodgers

New Member
Hope the whole estate turn up with viable workable suggestions that have not already been tried in relation to debt collection and (dare I hope) we'll get more involvement from homeowners generally.
 
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