Property Management Fees

GOTJ

New Member
Folks,

Did anyone-else get a letter asking for fees from ODPM? Ours have increased by roughly 50% and I am slightly confused why because I have found ODPM to be very unhelpful and absolutely useless.

The communal spaces are a bit of a disgrace, the paving outside Block 1 is falling apart, the car park gates have been insecure until recently and the door in Block 1 still doesn't lock correctly.

Have the Residential Committe thought of getting a new Property Management company?

Cheers...GOTJ
 

Key5

New Member
Our management fees have increased also. Is this a once off increase due to cctv installation or is this likely to be the fee from now on? Very disappointed with the significant increase.

Got notice today that clamping is due to start later this month. Suppose there's going to be another hefty charge for this?
 

gb74

New Member
I also got a letter from ODPM asking me to pay my management fee which has increased significantly. I feel this is a total rip off as I dont feel the money has been spent well. Does anybody feel the same about this.
 

Glyn

Moderator (The Watermill)
Management fees

Hi Folks,
The residents commitee have been doing a lot of work in the background, and changing Property Management Company isn't really an option at the moment. They were contracted to the builders (who still own around 80% of the complex) for three years. Besides, if you look at other complexes on this website you'll find that they're all the same.
The good news is that the government have announce a Code Of Practice which will take effect from May. Any company not following 'the code' will be named and shamed and also fined.

The management fees are higher this year than they were last year or will be next year for a number of reasons. A few of which are:
1. The installation of the CCTV system cost €19000.
2. The ESB costs were under budgeted last year. There will be an ESB audit to ensure we are using the electricity efficiently.
3. The need to install yellow lines and signage because of all the irresponsible
parking.

Please note that we do not pay for the clamping. The company get paid through fines by clamping any illegally parked fines. I'll mention it again, if you have an underground parking space, use it.

ODPM are still trying to get the builders to complete the finishing list which includes the faulty cobblelock and many many other issues.

So please ensure to pay your fees promptly, because if there is no money in the account there is no money to spend on improving and maintaining the complex. It's not ODPM that looses out it's us.
 

Barry Rice

New Member
As I understand it, (and i'm not 100% sure on this) the way O'Dwyers operates its fee structure, is on a percentage basis of the money spent on the maintenance of the complex.
i.e. they charge us X% of whatever they spend on cleaning, bins, gardening etc.
They also sub-contract out almost all of the works. This means that they actually have an active interest to see to it that the most expensive tender gets the contract. If this is true, it's a ludicrous state of affairs.
Can anyone confirm or deny this?
This is my first time on this forum. Is there a representative of O'Dwyers who posts here regularly?, who might post a reply to defend themselves?

I have been in touch with a different managment company who would be interested in taking over the contract. They seem much keener than O'Dwyers. I have an email from them outlining all the ways O'Dwyers could be saving money, but aren't. They have based this on the breakdown of the charges which was circulated with the bills we received recently.

I I will post the analysis here shortly, -provided they give me permission to do so.
 

Barry Rice

New Member
Hello again,

I have discovered that Glyn's earlier comment may be inaccurate.

"The residents commitee have been doing a lot of work in the background, and changing Property Management Company isn't really an option at the moment. They were contracted to the builders (who still own around 80% of the complex) for three years. Besides, if you look at other complexes on this website you'll find that they're all the same."

I have been informed that in a complex containing 144 apartments, a group of 15 residents (from 15 seperate units) i.e. 10% representation, has the power to call an EGM (extraordinary general meeting) to discuss any matter they see fit. Including the possibility of overthrowing the managment company and taking control themselves as directors rather than committee members. Committee members have no real control over what happens in the block. Directors do. These positions have been reserved by members of O'Dwyers. However, as I understand it, a majority vote can change this and put the power into the hands of the residents.

Please don't take anything I have said above as gospel. I am not overly familiar with the protocol involved here. I am just quoting third party sources, and I am open to correction.

As promised earlier, below is the analysis of O'Dwyers expenditure. I have purposely removed the name of the managment company who I contacted. I am not saying these guys are definately the guys for the job, but I am saying we should be aware that there are other options available, and that we are not obliged to keep O'Dwyer just because they were there first.


Anyway, here it is. Any thoughts?






Barry,
Further to our telephone conversation this morning, we would like to make the following comments regarding your Budget and Service Charge Costs. It would appear that there are many areas in the delayed budget issued by O’Dwyer Property Management where costs could be reduced, we have detailed some of them below.

Insurance: ODPM Budget €19000, review your sums insured put out to the market.

Electricity: ODPM Budget €60000, Very high costs review provider, have independent audit carried out, developer may be responsible for a portion of these cost, check the billing periods on bills to see if they relate to the construction of your development.

Gate Maintenance: ODPM Budget €3000 A newly installed gate maximum €1200 (per gate per year), any major faults at this stage should be corrected by the builder or gate installation company.

Pump Maintenance: ODPM Budget €5500. Review, seek to reduce.

Cleaning: ODPM Budget, ODPM provide the cleaning service at the property, obviously this is a conflict to appoint your own company to carry out this essential service. Having a Janitor at the development, it should be easy to reduce this cost. We would recommend that you have the Janitor carry out the majority of the cleaning, if possible. If a supplementary cleaning is necessary have this contract put to the market.

Grounds: ODPM Budget, Again ODPM provide the Grounds Maintenance at the property. This is an essential service and the contactor needs to be proactively managed. Can ODPM do this? We would recommend that you consider tendering this service without delay.

Electrical R&M: ODPM Budget €2000, review invoices paid quarterly, review maintenance invoices in this area scrutinise ODPM Maintenance invoices versus third party invoices. Consider, putting a limit on managing agent unapproved expenditure i.e. €150 without committee approval.

Apartment R&M: ODPM Budget €5000, review all invoices paid quarterly, review maintenance invoices in this area scrutinise ODPM Maintenance invoices versus third party invoices. Consider, putting a limit on managing agent unapproved expenditure i.e. €150 without committee approval.

Vermin Control: ODPM Budget €1000, review seek to reduce.

Janitor: ODPM Budget €32500, 144 Apartments is a medium sized development, the Janitor should be supplying the majority of the cleaning service at the development. Also ensure the Janitor is employed through a third party to limit the apartment owner’s exposure (employee rights etc).

Private Waste Disposal: ODPM Budget €32500, very competitive sector seek to reduce, X Management can offer €190 per unit PA (€27360)

Direct Managing Agents Cost ODPM Charges;
Energy Audit: €2000, we would suggest that any energy audit is carried out by a qualified professional and not undertaken by your Managing Agent.

Janitor Service: €4000 (estimated), ODPM would charge an administration fee to employ the Janitor of anything up to €6K, request a breakdown of the Janitors costs. Seek actual janitor wages including PAYE & PRSI. What is left over is ODPM costs.

After Hour’s service: €1580, ODPM charges this as part of their fees, seek to reduce.

Health & Safety Management: €2110, we would suggest that any H&S work is carried out by a qualified professional and not undertaken by your Managing Agent.

Postage & Stationary: €1425, ODPM are charging €9.90 per unit annually, seek to reduce. €7 per unit PA is reasonable.

Secretarial Fees: €1120, this is a reasonable charge.

Managing Agents Fees: €31,500, we consider this about 15% above the current market price per unit.

Data Storage: €242, unnecessary until development is over 5 years old and then should be incorporated in managing agent’s fees after.

Also ensure that the access devices (fobs) are not been re-sold with excessive profit charged by ODPM. Currently ODPM are earning €75000 annually (including cleaning & Grounds) from the Watermill along with an inflationary increase annually, 26% of your developments annual income. Seven and a half times your sinking fund budget this is exceptionally high Managing Agents revenue. As above we believe there are realistic savings to be made at the development.

As well as the conflicts mentioned above regarding ODPM carrying out essential services (Grounds & Cleaning) at the development we believe that conflicts exist when the managing agent has a close relationship with the developer and that the ability of the management company to progress vital issues such as completion of snag lists, timely deliverance of service charges for apartments under the ownership of the developer, the transfer of the common areas and the ability of the owners to appoint their own Board of Directors, is compromised. X Management undertakes to liaise with the developer in order to negotiate full discharge of the developer’s obligations to the members of the Management Company, to the benefit of all owners and residents at the property.

Also we would also like to take this opportunity to give you some further information on X Management, if you do consider putting the Managing Agents Service out for tender we would be delighted to be involved with the Management of your property.


We will ensure from the start:
• A Director of X Management will be Property Manager for Watermill, ensuring the on-going commitment which is crucial to the successful operation of your property and we guarantee a weekly on-site presence
• We offer complete financial transparency; every invoice is available for presentation at our quarterly meetings and all contracts are competitively tendered periodically
• We act solely as Managing Agents, we have no sales, lettings or maintenance (cleaning/ grounds) departments and as such you can be assured of our complete attention at all times
 

Caniggia

New Member
follow up to Barry's message

Hi Barry, I agree with you that we can have a say on the contract with ODPM, and that I also contacted another management company (I hope is not the same one you contacted) I'm waiting their breakdown of proposed management fees and I too will post their figures, the Director was happy enough for me to distribute the paper and I will post them in your letter boxes.

Glyn I am sorry but I disagree with you to pay immediately ODPM for two main reasons:

- I do not pay somebody any money just because they ask me too! If Board Gais send you a bill that is twice the normal amount you pay do you just pay? If so then you've got lots and am happy for you.

- I moved in the complex in April 07 and ODPM declared at the meeting that they did not operate the handover of the complex yet so... I requested almost a month ago mr Noone (chased weekly after) to provide me with the breakdown of the charges for the period Nov 06 - Oct 07 (obviously pro rata since I haven't been here the full term) before I release the chq. ODPM have NOT cleaned my windows (complained and no action taken by them), nor I seen anybody cleaning the carpet in the common areas (and I have been at home for almost 3 week straight so I would notices if somebody was cleaning).

All in All I don't mind pay the right amount (whichever that is) as long as I know it is in line with the best offers in the market and I get the service I demand. I am charges 2500 quid for what really:

1. My car was broken in while in the underground car park (and there was a security guard on site!!!, what a Joke!).

2. there is practically no garden and nothing to do for the Janitor (so bored that he painted the gates to keep himself busy).

3. You called them they log the call (charging for that) and then they don't even call back.

Please give me a break, if you are preparred to go ahead and pay some M....S €X just because you want to keep them happy, well... be my guest.
 

dublin5_Maria

New Member
Management Fees

The fees have gone up by approximately 25%. A credit was given to everyone on the full balance depending on what time of the year they moved in. The fee for a two bed for the year 06 - 07 was E1575 and this went up to just over E1900. Hardly a 50% increase.

The increase is due to the installation of the CCTV cameras which is for the safety and security of everyone and it was a long hard battle with ODPM to get them to sanction them for us as there was no money in the account. They have added greatly to security and of course it is a one off payment. We have all the equipment and numerous cameras in place and thanks to them and a vigilant neighbour three people were arrested on the complex about three weeks ago.

The ESB was also underbudgeted by E30000 last year. We are having an audit done on it to see where we can cut down on costs and that is being organised at the moment. The costs of ESB has risen in the past year and we are paying for lighting in the common areas, car parks and the overground lighting.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE MANAGEMENT FEES ARE A PROJECTED BUDGET TO THE YEAR END OCT08, NOT AN ACTUAL DEFINITE SUM. If things come in underbudget the money will go into our sinking fund and naturally it will be reflected in next years budget. It is better to be over budget than underbudget. It is the way things have to happen when you are working a year ahead.

I am a member of the committee and we are fighting long and hard with ODPM. We do it voluntarily and have made numerous improvements in the complex. ODPM basically will do nothing unless they are hounded to do it!! We are the ones meeting with them on a regular basis and mailing them and calling them on a daily basis.

There is no fee for the clamping. The company work purely for the money they get on the call out for the clamp they provide so the irresponsible people who are parking where they shouldn't are the ones who pay for the service.

The windows were cleaned last year and they will be cleaned in a few months time. If people want them cleaned more it will be reflected in the management fees and they will increase yet again!! The carpets are also due to be cleaned soon but we are holding off until the builders have finished on site. Yes they are due to come out and start work in the coming weeks. There is a finishing list of approx 300 which they have agreed for the most part to complete. No point cleaning windows and carpets while this is happening, it would be a waste of money and time. Dont you agree?
 

Caniggia

New Member
The windows were cleaned last year and they will be cleaned in a few months time. If people want them cleaned more it will be reflected in the management fees and they will increase yet again!! The carpets are also due to be cleaned soon but we are holding off until the builders have finished on site. Yes they are due to come out and start work in the coming weeks. There is a finishing list of approx 300 which they have agreed for the most part to complete. No point cleaning windows and carpets while this is happening, it would be a waste of money and time. Dont you agree?[/QUOTE]

dear Maria, I don't care if they clean the window 1 or 2 times a year. I care that they do it to mine too (which it did not occur). :(
 

Trent

New Member
I've been in Watermill since December '06 and have yet to have my windows cleaned. In addition to this I wish to raise the following points for the notice of ODPM:

The glass above the entrance to blocks 1 and 3 is disgustingly dirty and has been for a long time. These would take approximately an hour each to clean. Their current state takes away from the standard of the development.

It's only a matter of time before the state of the cobblelock between blocks 1and 3 causes someone to trip.

There has been no clampdown on commercial vehicles (taxis and logo'd jeeps) parking in visitors spaces. This has been a persistent problem and relates mainly to around 3 individuals and is a clear breach of the development rules. This is evident most evenings in the development.

I appreciate the thankless effort that the residents committee put in on our behalf.

Has anyone an update on how many have paid their management fees?
 

Glyn

Moderator (The Watermill)
Hi Trent,
The windows were actually cleaned last year. Only windows inaccessible to residents are in their remit. The windows accessed by balconies are the responsibility of the resident. There was a form dropped in every mailbox after they were cleaned and anyone who found them unsatisfactory were asked to fill in the form and send it to ODPM. Of course, if you did fill in the form and it was ignored by ODPM then that is a different matter, and one that should be raised.

With regard to the glass canopies, yes they do look awful - ODPM were instructed last week to clean these but this has yet to be done. It will be mentioned to them again.

The cobblelock is a serious problem. This is on the builders finishing list. They were due to be back in the development in the last few weeks to fix a huge amount of outstanding issues.

It's true that the clamping company have not been instructed to clamp commercial vehicles, I'll bring this up at the next meeting.

There are 23 residents who have stated their refusal to pay management fees, but a lot more still who have yet to pay.

Thank you for your comments about the committee, sometimes it feels like we're the enemy.
 

Caniggia

New Member
Hi Trent,
The windows were actually cleaned last year. Only windows inaccessible to residents are in their remit. The windows accessed by balconies are the responsibility of the resident. There was a form dropped in every mailbox after they were cleaned and anyone who found them unsatisfactory were asked to fill in the form and send it to ODPM. Of course, if you did fill in the form and it was ignored by ODPM then that is a different matter, and one that should be raised.

thank you Gwyn, I am well aware they are to clean only bedrooms windows as they are inaccessible. That makes two windows not cleaned by the cleaners.

I am also aware of the form dropped in the post which I used and also followed up with calls to ODMP.

The point is (and let close it once and for all) I DID NOT ask the commitee to make sure my windows were clean or to be cleaned. I voiced my concerne at a service which is below par for a development that wishes to be at same level with the sought after area it is located. I pay and I deserve:

service!

courtesy!

response!

know how my money is spent!

ODMP has failed on all of these and I believe it is time to put them to the sword.:mad:
 

Key5

New Member
The issue as I see it is the very significant increase in fees. The other items mentioned above are of lesser importance to the situation as a whole.
I would like to see action / commitment to ensure that our fees return to the 1500-1600 level. Would the residents committee see this as the priority rather than the few service issues which have been highlighted?
 

Glyn

Moderator (The Watermill)
Key5 the residents commitee see the increase as a very important issue. It has been mentioned time and time again that this is because of the cost of the CCTV installation. Obviously we won't need to include this next year and the fees will be lower. We will be making sure of this.
 
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