This Frequently Asked Questions text is not intended to give a legal or contractual answer to each question; it is simply an attempt to give members an overview. Click on a topic below for more information:
Most apartment complexes and many mixed developments (houses and apartments) are what are known as a private development. This means that each owner is financially responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the common areas of the complex.
It is only fair that all owners who enjoy the benefits of living in the complex are members of the Limited Company and therefore each townhouse/apartment owner automatically becomes a member of the Management Company when they buy their property.
It is responsible for the efficient and effective running of the complex, from the insurance of the apartment and duplex buildings and the public areas from a liability point of view, and ensuring the internal and external common areas are maintained etc, to ensuring that the refuse collections take place and any entrance gates are in working order.
As mentioned earlier, all the property owners become members of the Management Company when they purchased their individual properties. The members, for practical reasons, do not normally wish to carry out these functions. Therefore the Management Company retains a Managing Agent, in this case, Wallis Property Management Ltd., to look after these functions.
The Managing Agent’s area of responsibility does not extend to the maintenance of items inside each apartment, or to involvement with intruder alarms, parties etc. after office hours.
If spaces are numbered, then they should be strictly adhered to. If your space has been taken, do not park in another assigned space, as this will only spread the problem further. If you must double-park, leave a note for other residents, so that they know that it is a once-off.
The maintenance of lights, doors, locks, intercoms, lifts, common area grounds maintenance, refuse collection (apartments), sweeping, etc. is the collective responsibility of all owners and the actual work is carried out by the Managing Agent’s office on behalf of the Management Company, i.e. the owners.
The decisions are made at the Management Company AGM, where the aims and suggestions of the owners for the wellbeing of the complex are discussed and agreed. A board of directors is elected from the owners, and this board works with a chosen Managing Agent to have the agreed proposals carried out.
An Annual General Meeting is arranged by the Managing Agent, on behalf of the Management Company to review the previous year's activities, and discuss and agree plans for the following year. It is important to attend the AGM, as this is your chance to have a say in the running of your development. All owners are given notice of the time and location of the AGM 21 days in advance. Only owners are entitled to attend the AGM, and those whose accounts are not in arrears are entitled to vote on motions raised. The resolutions agreed are binding on all members.
It covers the public liability risk to the development and also the building fabric of the apartment blocks and duplex units. It does not cover the contents of each apartment or townhouse. It is strongly recommended that every owner/resident take out a separate policy covering the contents of their property.
Everything outside each owner’s property is called a common area. This covers the hallways in the apartments blocks, any internal car parks and bin sheds, as well as all outdoor areas and outbuildings except the gardens of any houses in the complex.
In order to meet the costs of running the complex, each property owner pays a service charge on an annual basis. A budget is drawn up each year and presented to the directors of the Management Company. The total budget amount will have been divided by the number of properties in the complex (sometimes weighted by the varying size or type of properties concerned). Once the board of the Management Company approves the budget, it is then charged out to all owners.
A proportion of the annual Service Charge is put aside for the replacement of major common-area items. e.g: painting, replacement of carpets, major repairs to fire alarms or lift mechanisms.
As long as you own the property in the complex, you pay an annual service charge. Once the property is sold, the new owner is responsible for the payment of the service charge. When selling your property, it is vital that you (or your Solicitor) informs the Managing agent of the change of ownership, and that all charges, such as Service Charges, Legal Fees, Interest, etc are paid up to date. Please refer to the Checklist for Sellers.
No, the budget for the year will vary, according to the upcoming running costs of the complex. The cost may rise in some years, due to inflation and exceptional items, but on other occasions it may be lower than the previous year.
The service change is issued on an annual basis and must to be paid fourteen days by the due date shown on the invoice.
Because most Management Company financial years’ are the same as the calendar year, the service charge is issued at the start of the year.
Wallis Property Management Ltd.
48 Fitzwilliam Square,
When you bought your property, you signed a document that entered you into a legal agreement with your Management Company to be bound by the rules of the Company.
It is in all owners’ interests that all monies in the budget are available, as a shortage of funds means that the Managements Company’s (owners’) requirements cannot be met, and the complex will suffer, making all properties there less pleasant to live in, and harder to sell or let.