Management Fees -- Money for Nothing!!!

Gav

New Member
P*ssed off with Smith Property Management/Windmill Park Management and the completely sh*te service they provide???

I propose we keep this thread solely for gripes about the “Service Charges”.
Namely overcharging and charging for services not provided and what we can do about it.


They have clearly stated that they have a Management Fee (€30,600) for providing and arranging these services…and that they’re providing those services they’ve outsourced to third parties at face value….. If so, then are we not entitled to see the invoices/contracts for each of these?!?!?


*Insurance - €24,820

Can we all get a copy of this policy? I want to know exactly what I'm covered for!

* Waste disposal 30 bins - €32,500

As far as I can tell there are 15 bins total in 3 sheds for the square and court!!!!
Do they outsource to a waste disposal company? and if so, can we see a copy of their invoices. Where are the other 15 bins we’re paying for?

* Common Area Electricity - €3,500

Seems a lot for around 15 street lights, 4 smaller lights in the garden areas, and 2 fountains (one of which in the court is off most of the time for some reason).
Can we get a copy of the ESB bill/charges.

* Ground Maintenance - €21,000

I think the garden areas and the gardening in general is excellent… Just wondering will it stay that way after they’ve sold all the apartments!?!?
They state the grounds are attended to weekly… I might be wrong but I don’t think they are.

* Window Cleaning - €950

Bi annual cleaning of windows has never happened, yet they charge us for it!?!?

This is probably also the case for the “Reapairs and Maintance (€2,500)” and “Vermin Control (€350)” charges.

* Contingency Fund – €12,500

Do we have a right to see how much money this pool contains and exactly what it’s been used for?
 

arealdub

New Member
Totally Agree!

You have just taken the words right out of my mouth....The girl who deals with us is sound enough however the fee is a disgrace!!! We are being ripped off completely!! We should all get together and maybe change management companies ourself.Did you know that the developer, that guy as far as I have heard owns or at least is involved with the management company!!
 

Gav

New Member
Yeah, I definitely feel this lot are a bunch of cowboys and would love to tell them to go shove it... but from what I hear they're one of the better ones of a bad lot!!!
Does anybody know of a management company the residents are happy with?

Also, we found it very hard to get hold of Barbara... she NEVER returns our calls and the only time we've talked to her are the few times we've caught her in her office.
 

arealdub

New Member
I wish that there was a way that we could manage ourselves as a committee, it is probably possible..if we all got together and made the effort...after all we are employing them. The big problem with smith property management is that the developer is the managing director of the company...he has caused major problems in collegewood and collegefort and still continues to do so!!
 

Gav

New Member
I forgot to mention.... if anybody hasn't paid yet, after we rang and complained about the fees the management company is allowing us to pay in 4 instalments over the year! Much easier on the bank balance!!!
It also gives the option of withholding the last payment until we're happy with the work completed.
 

Ronan C

Moderator (Windmill)
Maintenance fees

I agree with alot you have been saying. I would like to know where the money is being spent, and the reasons for this 20% increase for 2007. I have contacted Smith Property Management a few times and I'm still waiting the breakdown of the 2006 actual spend. (It just surprises me that they can increase the charge that much but still have not finalised their ,or should I say 'OUR', accounts). Once I get a copy, I will forward it on. Perhaps if you all request this from them, it might speed things up. The most recent contact for me has been Clara Toner, (claratoner@spm.ie , info@spm.ie)
 

dublin15_Gus

New Member
By the way fair play to whoever went around all the houses with that note last night.

I have been on to the management company on numerous occasions and find them very unhelpful in the extreme, they never return your calls, although the last time I was on I was talking to someone who was quite good.

When I asked them about the 20 % increase in fees a while ago the reason I was given was a joke. They said that the Builders had the fees down at a low price so they could sell houses and that they had to increase the fees.

I was also asking them about the bin charges, their explanation was that there are fees in there for skips €2,500 (I have never seen one) and maintenance of the shed €7500 (a new shed ????) and they are also charging for bins that have never existed.

I have also asked for breakdown of accounts, which funnily enough have been with the accountants for the past eight months. I’m not an accountant but surely it doesn’t take this long to audit accounts, seeing as we are paying for the independent audit surely we should be allowed to see accounts ???

Their own fees as well are a joke. They dont seem to do anything for them.

I could go on all day finding holes in all their fees, but the one that really gets me is the charge for postage. The only post I can recall getting from these clowns is a letter threatening Solicitors letters for non payment (I refused to pay until they could explain 20 % increase, and a breakdown of charges) I ended up paying as didn’t want legal fees on top of everything else.

Surely there is an ombudsman or someone who deals with cowboys like this.
 

Ronan C

Moderator (Windmill)
I also got a final notice letter and solicitor warning regarding late payment of this fee. I'd been in constant email communication with the management company explaining my reason for non payment and they have noted it on my file. I also got legal advice and they recommended that I print all correspondents and send via register post to the management company requesting them to forward on to their legal team. I’m still holding off paying the fee but this is more out of principle. I cannot understand why it is taking them so long to explain the circa. 20% increase! Perhaps if you do the same, we might get some answers before the year is out!!
 

Ronald

New Member
I am familiar with management companies, through my profession.

To be fair to Smith PM, their fee is all they get out of the figures in the budget. Any surplus monies at the end of the financial year are supposed to remain in the accounts of the management company. (Windmill Park Management Company Limited) Each owner in Windmill is a member of this company.

The company must have an AGM. All members should be invited to attend the AGM and should be provided with a copy of the audited accounts for the previous financial year.
 

Square1

New Member
So far as I know, the residents can take over the management company themselves once all the development has been sold, believe me - if you guys all want to pay me that much money I'd gladly give up my job and tend the gardens during the day. I'd even clean your windows ;)

I have to say as I leave late/ am home reasonably early, I do see gardeners at least twice a week. This is one thing I'm pleased with. But considering what we are paying there is still a lot left to be desired. I agree that Smith are the best of a bad bunch but really it's not good enough.
 

arealdub

New Member
Management fees 2008

Hi all, I don't know about ye but I am furious about the new fees for 2008. I have had a full blown argument with Barry from the accounts section in Smith property managment where by the end, he hung up! I am wondering for those who went to the AGM meetins, what exactly was said regarding the reasons for the deficit last year resulting in the increase of the fees this year. I am wondering this becuase I have got out of him that we are actually paying for the apartments that have not been sold so instead. what will happen next year when they don't sell the new apartments currently being built?? Your man Barry has said that basically in not so many words that we will be paying for them as well. This is a joke!! It was never said to us when we were buying the apartments that we would be paying the fees for property unsold!! I am in the process of trying to ring my solicitor into this matter!!! I would be grateful if people could indeed inform me or others as to what was said in the agmn regarding the so called 'deficit'. There is a load more crap that he said. The only reason I was not at the AGM, was due to having to work but I find it hard to believe that people who did attended would accept being told the increase for this year was due to apartments being sold which is not our problem, but the builders!!
 

spiderman

New Member
Hi,

To be honest, thats what was highlighted by the tenants to the management company at the AGM. The builder diod not turn up and doesnt havce to even though he is the director of the estate management company. The builder left the tenants with a 40k bill for year one and set up an over draft facility to pay it but we have to pay it baxck. Unless he sells more properties, the bills are divided by those of us that are here.

I am also very angry about 50% increase in fees in 2 years!!!!!!!!!

At least Dick Turpin wore a mask!
 

Nieve

New Member
Is there anybody else that you can contact regarding the deficit?
Also, I am not clear how a 3 bed duplex can be charged twice that of a 2 bed duplex
 

arealdub

New Member
Management fees

I spoke to my solicitor yesterday who advised me that we are perfectly entitled to break away from smith property management and get someone else. I have done out a letter for the court and square as I have spoken to several other residents who would be interested in doing this and break away from the apartment blocks to prevent future additions to the fees when the idiot of a developer does not sell the new apartments this year. In the letter I have proposed to meet in the carpenter pub next tuesday at 7.30. I will be distributing the letter hopefully tomorrow. I hope that we will all be in agreement and that if it is possible, we can get a better service and fees.

Regards Donal
 

arealdub

New Member
Spoke to Barry

Hi all,
I have just been speaking to barry there again from Smith property management, this time the conversation was civilised. Barry has cleared up a few things and the big issue is the developer himself, unless we get together and tackle him, there is not much we can do. Smith property have had alot of hassle with Mr Keegan and are trying their best to help us but are having little success. Like Barry said, they can hardly clean one apartment in the block and not clean the areas around the rest but it is still not fair on us having to supplement his costs.Barry has advised me that they would happily have a representative at any meeting we have and they will do their best to explain or help us what we can do.
 

ivers57

New Member
But we are basically paying for the insurance on all the apartments still owned by Kimpton Vale, ald also planning for their portion of the maintainance that is actually assisting them in selling their remaining units, thats ridiculous..
 

arealdub

New Member
managment fees

I am afraid I have to cancel that plan for tues, I can't get off work now...forget something else was on that day. We all have to do something about that keegan bloke, the developer himself. We should now be the majority shareholders in the development outnumbering him so we should have more say if we all go against him. Has anybody got an idea how best to approach this problem, I mean he is not making life easy for smith property according to Barry from the finance dept. There is no love lost between the, apparently impossible to get hold of. Maybe we should look at getting local td's involved??? That letter I was doing up, the solictor never got back to me with it yesterday, had hoped to have it delivered today!
 

Andrew J

New Member
hi all

we couldnt agree more with the previous posts, and would lend our weight to any action that could either put pressure on Larry Keegan to pay his bill or to move to another management company that could acheive this. It seems strange that Larry doesnt (or indeed shouldnt) contribute to the upkeep of the blocks - one presumes that if the place burns down then his apartment dont need to be insured?

We are in block C Terrace, and it appears that several of the unsold apts are being done up to either be rented by the developers or to be sold fully out-fitted. In this case more than ever he should be paying up. Indeed it his builders that are making the most mess of the communal areas by far. We should really have been told of this deficit issue my Smith Property before the issue of the drastically inflated rates for this current year so that we may have applied pressure at an earlier stage.

I see also a large portion of this fee (e50,000) is put aside for road maintenance / future upgrade. Personally i would have thought this was a council issue and not one that we should have to bear directly as a collective.

We have been here 9 months now and have never had our windows cleaned - we would have expected at least one round of cleaning in this period.

With the current state of the development as a whole, which looks far from being finished promptly, the point raised about picking up the tab for a future deficit arising from un-sold properties should be of some concern. If this drags out over years rather than months then it us that will be paying for the down turn in the market in far more ways than just the issue of our ownership of a single unit.

We are happy and indeed keen to discuss this further at some point (worry we missed the meeting) with any or all,

kind regards

A & A
block C
 

arealdub

New Member
management fees!

Hi all, I rang kimpton vale today and looked to speak to keegan but as usual not in the office! Of course the girl who answered let on that she knew nothing about the deficit with the management fees and that we were being asked to pay the deficit. I think as many people should ring them as possible and threaten solicitor letters on them to find out why he doesn't pay smith property management for the cleaning of the apartments that remain unsold etc. Barry from smith property told me that they have alot of problems getting hold of him and that it is not their fault for the increase as they are cleaning outside all the apartments and have to recoup the cost somehow. I am not sure what the position would be if we all agreed to looking into pulling away from smithproperty in that we don't get shafted for the unsold properties as regards to the remaining deficit. I mean whether it becomes smith properties problem or what? But seriously, it will get worse if we don't try tackle keegan...kimpton vale's number is 018604777 for those who don't have it.
 
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