Management Company Issues – ODCE might have to act for once

Lately, I received a few e-mails from a reader who was having problems with their management company. Have a read through:

I just wanted to ask you about what you said on the site about MA’s – “The Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement – nope, as I’ve personally found, they won’t do anything.”

I’m having a problem with my MA currently, are the ODCE really as useless as you say and do you know any official route to report problems with a MA with?

This was my first response. There wasn’t really enough information – plus, as sometimes happens, there seems to have been some confusion between the management agent and the management company.

Without knowing the details, if your problem is specifically with a managing agent, then the ODCE do not have any responsibilities at all.

They claim to only have responsibilities with regards to the specific legalities if jow a management company is run – though that’s where I found them unwilling to act and therefore ultimately useless.

There is unfortunately no regulator in place to oversee the running of a managing agent.

The only way to try to address any issues is to work with them directly.

The reader followed up with a further e-mail indicating that they actually did have a problem with the management company, and that, even though this should fall within the remit of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, they again said that it wasn’t their problem.

Thanks for your response. I contacted the ODCE and they told me the same.

However, what happened in our development is a few residents, who were runnning the residents committee, became directors of the management company (nominated themselves, and then seconded), fired the previous management agent and appointed themselves the management agent – I have very sketchy info about how they did this. Indeed, only a few months previous to this, they had put themselves up in front of members to be voted as the new MA and were rejected, but seemed to have found some way (legal or not) to take over.

These residents who are now in charge are themselves employed in the property industry, which I also find is a conflict of interest (they let apartments in the development and seem to prioritise the needs of renters).

Again, there is a little blurring of the lines here between the management agents and the management company. A management agent is normally a company appointed by the management company who would carry out all the maintenance and repairs on an estate.

It is possible for a management company to take on these responsibilities themselves – they can hire the gardeners, arrange for the bins to be collected, and so on – without the need for a management agent company. So, there’s nothing wrong with this.

Nor, given how Ireland operates in general, would there be anything wrong with the directors of the management company being involved otherwise in the property industry – as long as they are entitled to be members of the management company in the first place – i.e. they own properties in the development.

Where I would follow up in this situation is to get clarity from the management company as to how these particular individuals took over and became directors of the management company- i.e. how was the estate handed over by the developers to these individuals.

All information on this takeover of the management company will need to have been minuted at management company board meetings – including any terms of the handover.

If this information isn’t readily available from the current management company directors, then this is definitely something that the ODCE would be responsibility to assist the rest of the members (shareholders) of the management company i.e. the rest of the residents.

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