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Download the Affordable Homes Occupiers Guide here

By Tracy Fisher,2014-07-10 06:14
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Download the Affordable Homes Occupiers Guide here

    Affordable Homes Occupiers Guide

Index

    Introduction What is a Management Company? What is a Managing Agent? About Clúid Housing Association Your Management Company Your Building Lease Your Managing Agent Joint Role of Management Company and Management Agent House Rules

    Insurance

    Financial Management How to report a fault, repair or incident Owners Contact Information Security Fire Alarms Systems Parking

    Disclaimer

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Introduction

    Clúid Housing Association has written this Owner Occupiers Guide to provide you with information on how your apartment complex will be managed.

What is a Management Company?

    As an owner occupier of an apartment you are a member of the Management Company. The members of the Management Company each year elect a committee to act on their behalf. These people are the Board of Directors of the Management Company.

What is a Managing Agent?

    The Management Company appoints a Managing Agent to carry out duties in maintaining and managing the complex on behalf of the Management Company. Clúid Housing Association has been appointed as Managing Agent for your Management Company.

    We will therefore be responsible for dealing with most day-to-day management and administrative affairs for your complex. Should you encounter any problems with the services or if you have any queries please contact us.

About Clúid Housing Association

    Clúid Housing Association was established in 1994 and now owns and manages over 2,600 properties throughout Ireland. The Association is registered as an approved housing body with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. We are committed to providing affordable housing and delivering high quality services to our customers.

    In your complex we will not own the properties. However, we have been appointed as the Managing Agent. Our role is to manage and maintain of the complex to the highest standards on behalf of your Management Company.

    As the Managing Agents of your complex, we would like to bring to your attention a number of matters, which we hope, will help you to understand the management framework required for a private residential development.

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Your Management Company

    The Management Company is a company set up by the developer at the commencement of the development. This company is responsible for the maintenance and management of the structure and common areas of your complex. The Management Company is usually a company limited by guarantee and is subject to the requirements of the Companies Act. All the common and serviced areas within your complex, not forming part of any apartment or house, must be owned and vested in the Management Company. These areas can be internal and/or external e.g. internal lifts, fire alarms, grounds, refuse storage areas etc.

    You become a member of the Management Company when you complete the purchase of your property. When all apartments have been sold, you and the other owners are therefore the only members of the Management Company and you must collectively take responsibility for ensuring that the Management Company is run properly.

    The Management Company has a responsibility to all its members to ensure that the common areas of the complex are maintained and that the company’s

    financial and administrative affairs are properly managed. Details of this responsibility are outlined in the rules of the Management Company (the Memorandum & Articles of Association).

    The Management Company has to hold an Annual General Meeting every year, at which its Directors are elected. The committee made up of the Directors is responsible for ensuring that the Management Company is run properly, with the assistance of the appointed Managing Agent.

Your Building Lease

    As part of the purchase documentation for a private apartment complex, you sign a Building Lease. This lease entitles (or rather requires) you to become a member of the Management Company of your development. The Building Lease normally also contains certain covenants or obligations that you as owner of your apartment must fulfill. Such covenants can be positive, that means requiring you to do something (e.g. pay a service charge). Or they can be negative, requiring you not to do something (e.g. not to erect satellite dishes).

    Most covenants are necessary to ensure the successful management of the apartment block, to maintain the value of your property and to protect the individual owners from certain risks. E.g. payment of a service charge is required so that the common areas can be maintained, a sinking fund for future maintenance and improvements can be built up, and there is appropriate public liability insurance for the common areas.

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Your Managing Agent

    A Managing Agent, in this case Clúid Housing Association, is appointed and retained by your Management Company to undertake its responsibilities. These responsibilities are to ensure that the duties of the Management Company, as detailed in the Lease and Title documents, are fulfilled. The Managing Agents are the appointed agents of the Management Company NOT the Management Company itself. The Management Company has the right to appoint a different agent if it is not satisfied with the service provided.

    Clúid as Managing Agent will meet with the committee of your Management Company on a regular basis to discuss and agree on relevant management issues.

    Mutual co-operation and assistance is essential from all occupiers to ensure that the Management Company can properly fulfill its role.

Joint Role of the Management Company and Managing Agent

    The following list of tasks indicates the responsibilities of the Management Company, most of which are delegated on a day-to-day basis to the Managing Agent.

Buildings Maintenance & Cleaning

    ; Specify and engage maintenance contractors for the cleaning of common

    areas, including, where applicable window cleaning.

    ; Provide and implement mechanical and electrical service contracts for lifts,

    fire systems, electronic gates, ventilation, intercoms, pumps etc.

    ; Specify and engage service contracts for the grounds maintenance.

    ; Ensure that communal area power and lighting is constantly available and

    that consumption is conserved.

    ; Arrange for clear and direct signage in connection with traffic movement,

    parking, refuse disposal, pedestrian egress and access etc.

    ; Arrange for refuse collections and cleaning of bins and bin storage areas.

    ; Ensure that a ‘sinking fund’ is managed to ensure funds are available for

    future repair and replacement works.

Insurance

    ; Arrange for the insurance of the complex against property damage.

    ; Arrange public liability insurance in respect of all common areas.

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Administration & Keeping Residents Informed

    ; Issue newsletters, circulars and notices to owners and occupiers as

    required.

    ; Provide secretarial services including registered office, minutes file,

    share/member certificates, statutory filing, and circulation of notices for

    AGMs, EGMs etc.

Financial Services & Information

    ; Preparation of a comprehensive service charge budget annually in

    advance.

    ; Ensuring proper control procedures for the maintenance of debtors and

    creditors.

    ; Preparation of financial reports for Directors’/Committee meetings.

    ; Keeping of accounts and submit annually to Auditors for audit completion.

    ; Monitor and analyse budget performance on an ongoing basis

House rules

    Your Lease confirms ownership of your unit in the development but also binds you, as owner, to comply with certain guidelines and regulations, which must be met to ensure a pleasant and peaceful living environment for all occupiers in the development.

    House rules governing nuisance, noise disturbance, pets, sale boards, structural alterations etc. are prepared from the Lease. Clúid as Managing Agents aim to ensure that these rules are displayed in the entrance hallway to the apartment building and circulated to owners as necessary.

    We do our utmost to ensure that all residents adhere to these rules. However, we must stress that the Agent’s contractual role is limited to informing owners and/or

    occupiers of the rules and any breaches, but we are not legally empowered to enforce compliance.

    We ask that you write to us detailing any breach of these rules you believe is occurring, so that we may take appropriate action on behalf of the Management Company.

    Below are set out some standard house rules for an apartment complex. If you need a copy of the specific rules for your complex, please contact us.

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    ; All residents are required to ensure that all stereos, radio, television appliances, music (live and recorded) and noise in general be kept at a level that will not disturb neighbours. In particular no noise should be audible from an apartment between 11:00pm 8:00am. Apartment

    owners are responsible for ensuring visitors abide by this condition of the leasehold agreement.

    ; To keep the main entrance of each Block closed at all times. ; Note that all corridors and stairwells are Smoke Free Zones. Do not leave

    or extinguish cigarettes in common areas, on windowsills or floors. ; Please close all doors quietly in the complex. Strangers should never be admitted. Suspicious activity should be reported immediately to your local Garda station.

    ; It is the responsibility of all residents to tie refuse bags securely and place in a bin in the designated refuse area. Every effort should be made to keep the common areas and ground clean and tidy and free from litter. Please not that a recycling facility is located nearby. Under no circumstances should rubbish be left in the hallway, courtyard or balconies. ; Balconies or windows are not to be used to hang out washing. ; The paving on the balcony is not to be interfered with as it is designed to allow for drainage. All drainage outlets on balconies to be kept clear of debris and leaves.

    ; Under no circumstances are bicycles to be wheeled through or left in the common areas.

    ; It is prohibited to erect satellite dishes/antennas or to place or affix any signboard or placard on the exterior of the building.

    ; To be responsible for the appropriate behaviour of children and guests at all times while in the common areas of the Complex. Ball playing within the Development is strictly prohibited. Residents will be held responsible for any damage caused by either children or guests in common areas and lifts. Serious levies will be applied. Stairwells and lifts are not play areas. Fire safety equipment must not be interfered with.

    ; It is prohibited to obstruct entrances or common areas with prams, bicycles or any other paraphernalia.

    ; Any alteration to the external fabric of the building is strictly prohibited. It is prohibited to paint balcony wall ceilings or capping, windows, railings or doors.

    ; Residents are advised to install a small all-purpose fire extinguisher and a smoke alarm in their apartments.

    ; Please keep the Clúid advised of owner contact details in the event of an emergency and of the identity of key holders in the event of their absence.

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    Residents with intruder alarms should leave keys and instructions with

    neighbours or relatives living nearby.

    ; Residents parking only. Please park your car in your designated car-space

    only. All other parking is strictly prohibited within the complex. Parking of

    boats, caravans and commercial vehicles is not permitted. Free access to

    all pedestrian ways must be maintained at all times. In the interest of

    safety, a speed limit of 5mph should be observed.

    ; No pets allowed.

    ; The use of laminate or wooden flooring is not permitted.

    ; Please ensure washing machines and dishwashers are properly

    connected to avoid leakages.

    ; Contents insurance is a matter for the owners this includes fixtures,

    fittings, electrical equipment etc.

    ; Affordable Properties cannot be rented out. This is a legal requirement of

    the lease on your property. Dublin City Council will seek to take back the

    apartment if it is rented out.

    ; It is in all owners’ interests for these regulations to be complied with. By

    co-operating fully, the comfort and well-being of all residents will be

    assured.

Insurance

    The Management Company must ensure that the structure and common areas of the development are insured. This cover is arranged under a Block Insurance Policy, which provides indemnification against all types of loss. The common areas are also insured against loss in respect of any potential injury to a member of the public. The cost of insurance is included in the budget as part of your annual service charge.

Although the structure of your property is covered, you should be aware that

    this does not extend to your personal contents. It is your personal

    responsibility to obtain insurance cover against loss/damage to the contents of your apartment including furniture, carpets, floor coverings, fixtures and fittings and personal effects.

Financial Management

    Service Charges are paid to the Management Company, not the Managing Agents. All funds for your complex are held in a specific bank account in the name of your Management Company.

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    The Managing Agent will assist the Management Company in keeping a close eye on the collection of service charges as non-payment of service charges is a serious issue. Lack of funding for the day-to-day management of the complex and the absence of a sinking fund for long term maintenance and upgrades can quickly undermine the quality of the complex and reduce the value of your property. If a Management Company was to collapse due to financial problems and failure to comply with company law, it would cause serious difficulties for owners wishing to sell in the future.

    Books of Accounts are maintained by the Managing Agents with the Management Company and audited annually by independent Auditors. Once approved by the Directors of the Management Company, they will be issued to each Member in advance of the Annual General Meeting ratification.

    The detail and frequency of financial reports from Clúid as Managing Agent to the Management Company can be agreed between Clúid and the committee. But Clúid envisages that accounts be provided to the Management Company on a quarterly basis and that the service charge budget for the following year be made available in May at the latest.

    If there are people who do not pay their service charge the Management Company should take the decision to pursue legal action to recoup the monies. The cost of legal action will be covered through the service charge and will therefore increase costs to all residents. The precedence in Court is against the defaulter leading to debt judgments and can result in repossession of property. The defaulter may also have difficulty obtaining credit in the future.

How to report a fault, repair or incident

Clúid Office hours: 9 am 1 pm and 2 pm 5 pm Monday Friday.

    On items of plant machinery, e.g. alarms, lifts etc, there may be emergency contact numbers. They should only be called in an emergency and if at all

    possible the fault or repair should wait until the Clúid offices are open. Repairs carried out at weekends or evenings will be expensive. Where the owners wish to increase the level of out-of-hours emergency service for repairs, this can be decided at the Annual General Meeting of the Management Company.

    Please note that where the Managing Agent incurs expenses for a repair that is internal to an apartment, e.g. a leak from a bathroom, Clúid will invoice the owner for the cost of the repair. This should only arise where an owner cannot be contacted or is not available or not willing to address the reported fault in the required time.

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    If Clúid has to undertake repairs due to damage by any owner, their family members (including children) or their visitors we will also re-charge the cost to the person responsible.

    Clúid is committed to achieving the following repair response times:

Emergency repairs 24 hours

    Urgent repairs 5 working days

    Routine repairs 20 days (or 40 days if the repair needs to be

    inspected first)

Owners Contact Information

    If you live in an apartment building, you should be aware that there can be incidents in an apartment such as a leak, fire etc. which may result in damage to a neighbouring apartment. Consequently, it is imperative that you provide your Management Agent with ALL your contact details so that you may be contacted should urgent access to your apartment be required. You should always arrange for a third party to hold a key to your apartment in the event that you are away on holidays/business etc.

Security

    We have set out the following guidelines to improve the security within your development:

    1. When the intercom rings, identify the caller before allowing access to the

    grounds or building. Under no circumstances allow access to anyone

    unknown to you.

    2. When entering the building or grounds, do not allow access to any person

    unknown to you. Visitors can gain access by buzzing the apartment they

    are visiting.

    3. When entering or exiting the vehicular gate, keep the gate within vision

    until it has closed securely behind you.

    4. Immediately report all suspicious activity to your local Garda Station or dial

    999.

Intruder Alarms

    Irish Standard 199 stipulates that alarms shut down after a 20-minute sounding period. It also stipulates that alarms be serviced twice yearly as some activations arise because the system has not been serviced. Please note that external sounders are not permitted, therefore any sounder fitted must be internal of the

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    apartment. Please ensure that your system complies with IS 199 and is regularly serviced.

Access Remote Controls Keys and Fobs

    If you need additional fobs or keys, you should be aware that:

    1. Authority for additional keys or fobs should be sought and obtained

    through the Clúid office.

    2. Proof of identity is required.

    3. The owner must pay any costs related to the issuing of new keys/fobs..

    4. You should retain details of the number printed on any fob/remote

    control/swipe card. This will enable the card or fob to be deleted from the

    system should it be lost or stolen.

Adhering to this will enhance security for all residents.

Fire Alarm Systems

    The fire system in your development is maintained under a service contract in accordance with Fire Safety Legislation.

If you hear the fire alarm

    ; Ensure that all cooking equipment is switched off and left in a safe

    condition.

    ; Leave the building through the nearest exit and ensure that all doors are

    closed behind you.

    ; Do not use the lift.

    ; Do not delay do not attempt to gather personal belongings etc.

    ; Move to the safest assembly point and wait for the Fire Brigade to arrive.

    ; Do not re-enter the building until directed by the Fire Brigade to do so.

If you discover a fire

    ; Sound the fire alarm by breaking the break-glass unit in the lobby/corridor

    ; Alert the Fire Brigade by dialing 999 and report your name, address and

    apartment number and/or your individual Block number if necessary.

    ; Leave the building and ensure that all doors are closed as you leave.

    Move to the assembly point and wait for the Fire Brigade to arrive.

    ; Do not re-enter the building until directed by the Fire Brigade.

    ; Please note that each unit owner is responsible for ensuring the provision

    of fire prevention equipment within his/her unit.

    ; Bang on doors as you leave, do not wait for people to come out.

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