Apartment living is in its infancy in Ireland but growing rapidly. We have the lowest apartment occupancy rate in the EU, at under 10% of our population, compared with 58 % in Germany and 66% in Spain. For demographic and land availability reasons, this proportion will increase rapidly in the next number of years.
The legal structure of apartment ownership is not well understood by apartment owners. Owners do not “own” their apartment. The apartments are owned by a legal entity, defined by statute, called an Owners’ Management Company (OMC) from which each apartment owner (unit owner) has a long-term lease. The OMC is owned by its members, the apartment owners, completing the circle.
Eleven years ago, the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 was enacted to rectify problems in the sector at that time eg the failure of developers to transfer the “common areas” to the OMC; poor levels of corporate governance in OMCs; failure of many owners to pay the annual service charge; and failure to have an adequate sinking fund for future once-off expenditure.
These problems still remain in 2022 due partly to the lack of knowledge and skill on the part of OMCs, their directors, and managing agents themselves and to inadequacies in the law.
So, this book is designed as a handbook – a practical guide in one volume, with 13 chapters which explain the 2011 Act in detail, and its deficiencies, with over 40 practical examples of the 2011 Act in action or not, also with reference to the limited case law available, and appendices containing the correct forms to comply with the 2011 Act and with Company Law in general.