RTE Radio 1

Lolly

New Member
Joe Duffy - Live Line

Hey,

Did anyone here Joe Duffy to-day. They had a rep from Corcoran & Jennison Mgmt Company and a resident called Kate on with regard to the Mgmt fees.
It was very interesting. Did anyone else here it what did you think.
 
No but I wish I had, apparently some pretty unhappy punters and the boss of the management company in Ireland. They really have us all by the wotsits because its very hard to change how they run their business, they are an American highly PROFITIABLE company. Say hello to rising fees year in and out. We need a voice, this is not a regulated area as far as I know.
We need people to manage our complex but we need more power as to the decisions they make on our behalf, afterall we own the complex and they provide a "service".
 

Paola Barrett

New Member
Copy of email from Miles Byrne (Director) Corcoran Jennison to Joe Duffy

Greetings Mr. Duffy:

I appreciate the opportunity you afforded me to speak on your show yesterday. As disagreeable as the conversations might have appeared to your listeners, there is no benefit in avoiding the discussion. Professional estate management delivery systems are essential to providing safe and attractive communities while protecting the capital asset. Frankly, I far prefer having to defend service charges and our record of accomplishment than I would accepting lower fees, lower standards of service and having to publicly defend a deficient system of management that offers excuses while properties descend into decline with each passing month. You will agree, not one caller questioned the level of our service to our customers.

Having some time to consider the discussion, I believe there is a larger issue that was not discussed and might require further attention. Conceptually, I hope we are all in agreement that it is very important for Dublin to create inclusive and sustainable mixed income communities that include market, affordable and social families. The concerns raised by your guests speak largely to how best to include affordable and social families in these predominantly market rate residences. I regret that I was not the perfect guest to answer these questions. It would appear to me your listeners would need to know more about how government (DCC and/or DDDA) screens affordable owners for their new units. I would imagine they go to great lengths to screen out unqualified affordable applicants by adhering to income guidelines that measure an owner’s ability to assume all the responsibilities of homeownership and not just the monthly mortgage. I also suspect they apply a simple screening tool that measures the applicant’s ability to pay for a mortgage plus the minimum monthly expectations for ESB, management company service charges, unit insurance, upkeep and general repairs.

As the conversation progressed yesterday, I was heartened to hear one affordable caller (Ruth I believe) admit that she could afford the charges. If that is correct, your listeners were not well served by the tone of the discussion as it reflected Ruth’s personal decision not to pay her fair share of the management expenses more than it did the larger issue of whether affordable homeowners are having to shoulder a larger financial burden when they agree to accept an affordable home in high end communities such as Longboat Quay.

Please also note there are many affordable units in and around the Docklands that offer varying rates for annual service charges. Some properties do not have lifts, common areas, roof gardens, landscaped interior gardens, underground carpark amenities, or on-onsite property management personnel that can attend to the day to day needs of the property such as is provided at Longboat Quay. I imagine properties with less amenities charge annual service fees that are approximately 400-500 euro less per year - which amounts to a savings of approximately 33-42 per month. Longboat Quay is a high end property located in the middle of one of the most desirable addresses in Dublin. I assure you, our 249 market owners expect a higher level of service from their Management Company.

Additionally, I would like to provide you the following items of interest that were not represented on your show yesterday:

Longboat Quay’s annual service charges are less expensive than the other properties in the area averaging 1,900 per unit (not the 1,800 I mentioned on the air). The charges would be 174 Euro lower if the owner’s lease provided for carpark expenses to be charged separately. This however is how the owners lease agreement was written and has been agreed upon when the affordable and market owners who moved into Longboat Quay.
There are pedestrian (as well as automotive) gates that give owners access to the landscaped courtyards in both the North and South blocks. These gates also give owners access to the binstores located in the below ground carpark. For safety purposes, our ESB charges represent a large expense as there are over 70 wall pack lights that burn electricity 24/7. Additionally, the mechanical gates that block entrance to the carpark require constant repair from normal wear-and-tear as well as periodic incidents of vandalism.
Affordable owners were able to purchase their units from the DDDA for a considerably smaller amount than their market neighbors who enjoy the very same sized units. One bedroom affordable units sold for 200,000 Euro when the least expensive first floor market one-bed that sold for 275,000 approximately four years ago. An affordable 2-bed sold for 210,000 Euro when the least expensive market 2-bed sold for 440,000. And a 3-bed affordable sold for 245,000 Euro when the least expensive three bed townhouse sold four years ago for 670,000.
Given the affordable sales prices in Dublin today, it would appear to me affordable applicants have many options in the market place to find a suitable home in a residential development where annual service charges and reduced amenities are more to their liking. It is my understanding the maximum salary for couples to purchase a 3 bedroom home at 245,000 is 75,000 Euro per year. It is our expectation that affordable families that approach this income limit will find Longboat Quay both affordable and highly satisfied with the management services and special amenities that come with paying their service charges.
Every owner can avail of the benefit of deducting 220 from their taxes due to refuse charges thereby reducing further the affordability of paying their annual service charges.
Townhouse owners are not charged for lift expenses when their annual service rates are calculated although they do have access to the roof top garden amenity.

I regret that I was not prepared adequately for yesterday’s show as I did not have access to my files when I was called on my mobile or prior knowledge as to the concerns of your guests. If you decide to revisit this concern and believe it is of interest to your listeners, I would appreciate the opportunity to participate once again.



Respectfully,



Miles Byrne
 

Erica C

New Member
Thanks Paola for posting this.

I didn't hear the show but would like to make a few comments:

I don't think anyone would argue with Mr Byrne that an in-house professional company is of great benefit to the development and we certainly wouldn't want a half rate company that offer a poor service, we have a great place to live and we wouldn't want it to go downhill.
My observations would be that the people who purchased via the Docklands Affordable Scheme are upset because they have to pay towards the carpark ammenties that he mentions and are actually unable to use them. So the upkeep, the esb and the gate maintenance, which €52k has been budgeted for are being unfairly split between all homes. The DDDA did not permit residents the oppurtunity to purchase them and as a result people feel hard done by paying for the car park related expenses. I don't think affordable owners should complain that they are paying the fees in general or towards the upkeep of the development that they enjoy. They were notified that there would be fees as in any development I just feel that this was not thought through properly by the DDDA, surely someone should have seen that this would cause problems down the line. It is unrealistic to sell a home in 2009 without such a facility, but worse still if that buyer has to pay towards it. This is the root of the problem as I see it but I didn't hear the show. To simplift it I am sure that Miles wouldn't like to have a lovely coffee machine in his office that he pays for out of his wages and can't have a cup when his colleagues can enjoy.

I think what adds fuel to the fire is the lack of street parking and the recent clampers introduction. I myself have had a family member clamped when unloading shopping for 2 minutes yet the delivery men to Spar don't get clamped. These street parking measures were not introduced by our management company but don't help the issue.Like I say I didn't hear the show but this is the feedback I have received from neighbours.

One correction Miles I would like to make is that one bedroom affordable apartments sold for €210 in 2008 and not two beds as he mentioned as they were more. They were also sold at a value that now in the current climate is now much less. It shouldn't be an issue who paid what, as long as people pay their fees and we have a nice community spirit but make the planning fairer.

If we can ammend a constitution in a country surely an amendment can be made to a budget? The lease he refers to is an interesting one, who exactly made this rule? I am sure we can all understand that in the current economic climate we need to be prudent with our money.

On a positive note the spring is here and soon we can all enjoy the lovely outside spaces in the area soon. Happy days!

Thanks


Greetings Mr. Duffy:

I appreciate the opportunity you afforded me to speak on your show yesterday. As disagreeable as the conversations might have appeared to your listeners, there is no benefit in avoiding the discussion. Professional estate management delivery systems are essential to providing safe and attractive communities while protecting the capital asset. Frankly, I far prefer having to defend service charges and our record of accomplishment than I would accepting lower fees, lower standards of service and having to publicly defend a deficient system of management that offers excuses while properties descend into decline with each passing month. You will agree, not one caller questioned the level of our service to our customers.

Having some time to consider the discussion, I believe there is a larger issue that was not discussed and might require further attention. Conceptually, I hope we are all in agreement that it is very important for Dublin to create inclusive and sustainable mixed income communities that include market, affordable and social families. The concerns raised by your guests speak largely to how best to include affordable and social families in these predominantly market rate residences. I regret that I was not the perfect guest to answer these questions. It would appear to me your listeners would need to know more about how government (DCC and/or DDDA) screens affordable owners for their new units. I would imagine they go to great lengths to screen out unqualified affordable applicants by adhering to income guidelines that measure an owner’s ability to assume all the responsibilities of homeownership and not just the monthly mortgage. I also suspect they apply a simple screening tool that measures the applicant’s ability to pay for a mortgage plus the minimum monthly expectations for ESB, management company service charges, unit insurance, upkeep and general repairs.

As the conversation progressed yesterday, I was heartened to hear one affordable caller (Ruth I believe) admit that she could afford the charges. If that is correct, your listeners were not well served by the tone of the discussion as it reflected Ruth’s personal decision not to pay her fair share of the management expenses more than it did the larger issue of whether affordable homeowners are having to shoulder a larger financial burden when they agree to accept an affordable home in high end communities such as Longboat Quay.

Please also note there are many affordable units in and around the Docklands that offer varying rates for annual service charges. Some properties do not have lifts, common areas, roof gardens, landscaped interior gardens, underground carpark amenities, or on-onsite property management personnel that can attend to the day to day needs of the property such as is provided at Longboat Quay. I imagine properties with less amenities charge annual service fees that are approximately 400-500 euro less per year - which amounts to a savings of approximately 33-42 per month. Longboat Quay is a high end property located in the middle of one of the most desirable addresses in Dublin. I assure you, our 249 market owners expect a higher level of service from their Management Company.

Additionally, I would like to provide you the following items of interest that were not represented on your show yesterday:

Longboat Quay’s annual service charges are less expensive than the other properties in the area averaging 1,900 per unit (not the 1,800 I mentioned on the air). The charges would be 174 Euro lower if the owner’s lease provided for carpark expenses to be charged separately. This however is how the owners lease agreement was written and has been agreed upon when the affordable and market owners who moved into Longboat Quay.
There are pedestrian (as well as automotive) gates that give owners access to the landscaped courtyards in both the North and South blocks. These gates also give owners access to the binstores located in the below ground carpark. For safety purposes, our ESB charges represent a large expense as there are over 70 wall pack lights that burn electricity 24/7. Additionally, the mechanical gates that block entrance to the carpark require constant repair from normal wear-and-tear as well as periodic incidents of vandalism.
Affordable owners were able to purchase their units from the DDDA for a considerably smaller amount than their market neighbors who enjoy the very same sized units. One bedroom affordable units sold for 200,000 Euro when the least expensive first floor market one-bed that sold for 275,000 approximately four years ago. An affordable 2-bed sold for 210,000 Euro when the least expensive market 2-bed sold for 440,000. And a 3-bed affordable sold for 245,000 Euro when the least expensive three bed townhouse sold four years ago for 670,000.
Given the affordable sales prices in Dublin today, it would appear to me affordable applicants have many options in the market place to find a suitable home in a residential development where annual service charges and reduced amenities are more to their liking. It is my understanding the maximum salary for couples to purchase a 3 bedroom home at 245,000 is 75,000 Euro per year. It is our expectation that affordable families that approach this income limit will find Longboat Quay both affordable and highly satisfied with the management services and special amenities that come with paying their service charges.
Every owner can avail of the benefit of deducting 220 from their taxes due to refuse charges thereby reducing further the affordability of paying their annual service charges.
Townhouse owners are not charged for lift expenses when their annual service rates are calculated although they do have access to the roof top garden amenity.

I regret that I was not prepared adequately for yesterday’s show as I did not have access to my files when I was called on my mobile or prior knowledge as to the concerns of your guests. If you decide to revisit this concern and believe it is of interest to your listeners, I would appreciate the opportunity to participate once again.



Respectfully,



Miles Byrne
 

nic

New Member
After reading the above email i felt compelled to reply because it is insulting, partially untrue and patronising. Although i have previously said i would never use this site again because it is not in fact anonymous which i discovered after receiving a phone call re a previous comment (non abusive innocent comment i might add which is still posted so was not offensive) i just cannot let this email go without defending myself.
It was in fact myself not ruth that said i can afford the charges at the moment and if Mr Byrne had done his research he would discover that i have in fact paid all my charges up to date and am preparing to pay another installment on monday. The fact that he has stated that i am simply opting out of paying my fees and portraying that picture of me to joe duffy i feel is a personal attack and i will be dealing with it through the proper channels as i am disgusted that he can blacken my name in that manner without giving me the opportunity to defend myself as i would not have known about that email if paola had not posted it up here for us to read.
Also when i said i can afford the fees i meant i can literally pay them plus my other bills and have just enough left at the end of the week to buy a bottle of milk. to be perfectly honest i am more likely to end up borrowing money from my family every week to see me through even if it is only €10 or whatever and this is despite the fact we have 2 salaries coming in. I did not say this on the radio because i did not want people to know how hard up we are finacially at the moment having suffered 2 paycuts since the start of this year but i feel backed into a corner by mr byrnes comments to explain just how little money i have. plus the added pressure that my job is more than likely going in the next 6 months. I'm sure if Mr Byrne had this budget to work with he would not take 'i can afford the fees at the moment' quite so literally.
Another discrepancy in Mr Byrnes' case is the fact that none of the affordable residents use the underground bins as we have street access to our bin stores and do not have the codes to enjoy these wonderful roof top spaces he talks about. We have no need what-so-ever to use any aspect of the carpark so any of the charges associated with it should in my opinion not be borne by us. If he bothered to listen properly to our arguments he would realise that we were not disputing paying the fees as we (myself certainly) have no problem paying fees to ensure the upkeep of our development it is the level of the fees that we are disputing.
Aswel as this one of the main flaws that we are disputing is the termination of the recent service because of the cost which was estimated at €60,000/annum. I personally am on the fence about whether it was right to get rid of this service as lets face it we were the only development to enjoy this service and there were still incidents of the car park being broken into when we had it, but where i have a problem is that according to cj's budget the running of this complex costs in the region of €600,000/year so if we get rid of a service that last year cost 10 % of that budget surely this year we should see some of those savings passed on to the residents???
I find it very hard to believe that in a time of financial crisis affecting most of the world where the prices of all services are being reduced cj can justify the fees they are charging and not only that but can justify an increase in these fees. I would like to point out as my final point in my argument that at the end of the day cj are a company and the aim of a company is to make a profit otherwise they cannot survive. i would be very interested to see the margin of this profit.

As my closing point i have to say that recent events and mr byrnes patronising comments have made me wonder if we did in fact make the right decision to buy in longboat quay. The supposed vibrant community we are living in is in my eyes non existant as the only people who say hello or stop to have a conversation with me are the other affordable residents. If the economic climate was not in such a bad way i have to say i would seriously consider selling my duplex back to the docklands as it is not turning out to be the dream i thought it was going to. I think the fact that mr byrnes has felt the need to point out how much the affordable residents paid for their apartments is quite derogrotory and implys that we are not entitled to complain about these issues as we didnt pay the full price for them. And lets not forget that yes we did pay less but the DDDA paid the full amount and we are actually in their debt for the next 20 years. We are not free to sell our apartments at any stage in those 20 years without paying a fee to the DDDA so in my eyes in the end it works out the same as is we had paid full price. I find it insulting that the director of a company that i as a resident employ can look down his nose at me because i am an affordable resident.

another point after re-readin Mr Byrnes email. In his final paragraph he states that he had no prior knowledge of our concerns well i would say that he is either lying and in doing so not representing a true picture of these issues or else the agents on the ground here in ireland are not passing on the information to him as these concerns have been raised both on and off this website by a number of residents.
 

NickieJane

New Member
I did not hear the radio show so i cant agree or disagree about what was said. However after reading the email i was pissed off. I felt that he was looking down on people who bought affordable housing. Maybe he did mean for it to come across that way but it has.

Some points i would like to make

He has not right to judge people on how they bought their apartment

He needs to do his research better and get the correct figures- 2 bed AF from DDA were sold at €225,000

I know this is not his fault but we were informed by the DDA that m. fees were €1500 and we were not told about habour fees

AF Housing is granted to couples only if (using the format below) is less than €100,000
Double the highest earner wages plus lower earners wages.
( I might not be 100 % correct but it is correct as far as i can remember)

I do agree with Nic's point about the car park .We were told that we had no choice and could not get a car park space. Why should we pay for something that we can use?

It seem that the termination of the recent services saving should be passed on to us. Its not fair.

I do agree that we should pay m.fees for the up keep and secerity of longboat however we should not pay for things that we cant use. If we pay the management companies wages they should listen on how we would like longboat to be run no matter who we are.
 

lulu

New Member
Another Ddda Mess

hi all



i was offered an affordable unit from the ddda recently, after much thought i decided to decline there offer, for two reasons.

1: management fees were to expensive.

2: house prices were falling.



I could afford the mortgage, monthly bills and still have a social life,

but after including the mgt fees it wasn't do able.



The DDDA have a lot to answer for. I blame them for this mess. Not the management co.

From what i have read here and listening to Joes show on Wed, this mgt co seem to be doing a great job.

I think you would be mad to change them.



Take your anger out on DDDA, ask them how they expect families on the affordable housing list to afford such high mgt fees.

After all they knew fully what the fees would be, and still proceeded to offer these apts to people. knowing fully well they could not afford them.

The DDDA should have seen this coming,



DDDA should now be looking at how they can rectify this problem, its not to late for them to fix it.

Get your local TD's on the case, ask the mgt co to approch the DDDA.

I don't see why the DDDA cannot pay towards your mgt fees,

If the DDDA were paying towards individuals management fees more people would be taking there offers of apts in the Docklands

after all at the moment they are paying the fees on the apts that are waiting to be filled.

As far as i am aware there are still affordable units to be filled. The DDDA are paying the management fees fully on these apts.

correct me if i am wrong on this.



I would also like to add that a couple of weeks ago i heard that guy Mr Byrne speak on the Joe Duffy show about the regeneration in O'Devaney Gardens, Domnick St flats and St Michaels. I think his company was chasing the contract. I was very impressed by him and so were a lot of people that listened that day, including Joe Duffy. From what i heard that day Mr Byrne is all for (in his own words) mixed income communities that include market, affordable and social families. I imagine he knows only to well what you all are going through right now, and i don't think he ment to offend anyone with his post. I think right now a lot of people are stressed by these fees and our economy is not helping.



My point is, this is a DDDA created problem. I Don't think housing is there high point.
 
Just a small point

Just listened to the show, and one of the lady callers asked the question, why should she have to move out of the area where she lived all her life. Well I have so many friends who live in Kildare, Meath, Wicklow and CAVAN!!! Who all come from Dublin but had to move out because of house prices so how come you feel you are entilted to live in Docklands just because you lived in the area?
 

nic

New Member
it might have something to do with the fact that if it wasnt for the docklands residents agreements to build on these grounds both north and south of the river then there wouldnt be all these apartment and office blocks it would still be warehouses and factories. maybe you should read up on some of the history of the area david & fergus.
As part of the agreement with the local residents in the area a % of the housing etc was to be given back to the residents in the area.this is why there is social and affordable housing.
Get you're facts straight before you start questioning our entitlement to live in our own area.
PS your friends made a choice to move out of dublin they werent forced.
 

lucy lou

New Member
Oh i am sooooooooooo grateful

ok so blow ins who don't even hail from here think we should be grateful to be living here? Ha ha, that is hysterical!! For the past 10- 15 years we have put up with all the s*** of the day to build "the Docklands area". As the above guest said, if we, THE LOCAL COMMUNITY, and our parents etc refused to allow the facelift of OUR area take place, THERE WOULD BE NO DOCKLANDS.... As a settlement to the LOCAL COMMUNITY every apartment block must give the LOCAL COMMUNITY 20% social/affordable housing... Sorry if this does not suit you both....
 

aidanosullivan

New Member
Can people calm down on these boards, we are supposed to be neighbours! And we all live in an amazing area, so lets keep things in perspective.

There are a lot of good reasons for mixed developments, which means 20% social/affordable housing.

It seems to me the problem is the DDDA subsidises the purchase price for these apts for families, but then doesnt subsidise the mgt fees. That is what needs fixing. But then again, with the drop in prices - the whole system needs reviewing.

Also, I think Joe Duffy didnt do even basic research before the show and should have had someone from the DDDA on, and from FF (who still are failing to regulate this) on the show also.

My two-pence anyhow.

Aidan
 
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