Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Department of Justice and Equality
Housing Management Companies
247. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the need to introduce legislation to regulate private management companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45298/17]
The position is that the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 was enacted with the primary purposes of reforming the law relating to the ownership and management of common areas of multi-unit developments and facilitating the fair, efficient and effective management of owners' management companies (OMCs). These are companies registered under the Companies Acts, the members of which are the owners of residential units within the development and which are established for the purposes of ownership and management of the common areas.
The 2011 Act contains provisions relating to such matters as:
- the transfer of common areas to the OMCs (sections 4 and 5);
- the voting rights of members of OMCs (sections 14 and 15);
- the provision of annual reports by OMCs to members (section 17);
- arrangements for the holding of annual meetings to approve annual service charges (section 18);
- the establishment of a sinking fund to cover refurbishment outlays (section 19);
- arrangements for the making of House Rules (section 23); and
- the establishment of a court-based dispute resolution process (section 24).
The Act also contains provisions which encourage the resolution of disputes that may arise between parties by means of mediation rather than recourse to court proceedings.
Statutory provisions governing the regulation of companies, including those governing the memorandum and articles of association, the appointment and responsibilities of directors and requirements for submitting annual financial returns, are set out in the Companies Acts.
The Office of the Director of Company Enforcement (ODCE) has published a "Company Law Handbook on Residential Property Owners' Management Companies" which contains valuable information and practical guidance for OMCs, including chapters on specific company law topics such as the responsibilities of directors, accounting records and the filing of annual financial returns. In addition, the ODCE has published "A Property Owner's Guide to Company Law" which is aimed at the owners and residents of apartments in multi-unit developments and explains how company law is relevant to them. Both publications are available on the ODCE's website: www.odce.ie.
While I have no plans at present to amend the Multi-Unit Developments Act, its operation is kept under ongoing review by my Department.