Labour's Guide to Management Companies and Taking in Charge will prove to be a valuable resource to residents trying to navigate the legal and administrative minefield that the area now represents.
The proliferation of private management companies to administer new style mixed apartment/housing estates and impose exorbitant charges for services traditionally provided by the local authority are now hitting young people very hard. Many first-time buyers do not appreciate that when purchasing their accommodation that they are contractually wedded to a Management company.
The management companies are invariably connected to the developer, they claim to provide a menu of services that often never materialise and often the purchase of the apartment or house includes the first year’s management fees. The occupant therefore is not hit with a bill until year two. The amount can vary from a few hundred Euro to a couple of thousand per annum. Huge increases are announced without any reasonable explanation. Essentially these charges are the re-introduction of rates by the back door.
Labour in Government will legislate to end the use of management companies in the case of traditional type housing. We will regulate and limit their scope where they have to be used in apartment blocks for specified limited services. Traditional services like water, sewage and public lighting will be the responsibility of the local authorities.
In the meantime hard-working families in new estates and apartment complexes across the country, are struggling to get to grips with the unreasonable bills that are being slapped on them by these companies.
The Labour Party has undertaken considerable research in putting together this document which will at least equip residents to understand how they can address these questions and to tackle their own issues at a local level.