Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Justice the legislative responsibility of management companies within the Multi-Unit Development Act 2011 or other relevant legislation. [2825/22]
263. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Justice if there is legislation or regulation allowing owner-occupiers to call an annual general meeting of a management group in circumstances in which one has not been called for a period of time. [2826/22]
264. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Justice the timeframe in which a management group of a multi-unit development should convene an annual general meeting. [2827/22]
265. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Justice if tenants can join the management group of a multi-unit development. [2828/22]
266. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Justice the recourse available to owner-occupiers if they feel their management fees are being poorly utilised in a multi-unit development. [2829/22]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): I propose to take Questions Nos. 262, 263, 264, 265 and 266 together.
The Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 was enacted with the primary purposes of reforming the law relating to the ownership and management of common areas of multi-unit developments and facilitating the fair, efficient and effective management of owners' management companies (OMCs).
These are companies registered under the Companies Acts, the members of which are the owners, of residential units, rather than tenants, within the development, which are established for the purposes of ownership and management of such common areas.
There are a number of obligations set out in the Act which include, but are not limited to, the following. OMCs must set annual service charge schemes to cover the costs of maintenance, insurance and repair of common areas under its controls and the provision of common services to unit owners. The OMC must establish a sinking fund, and OMCs can also develop house rules for the operation and maintenance of their multi-unit development.
In relation to annual service charges, it is a matter for each individual OMC to determine the amount of the service charge on an annual basis. Section 18 of the Act requires OMCs to establish and maintain a scheme of annual service charges from which they may discharge expenditure incurred on the provision of common or shared services to the owners and occupiers of residential units in the development, including insurance, waste management and security services. The Act sets out clearly that the service charge must be calculated on a transparent basis, and be equitably apportioned between the residential unit owners. In order to ensure transparency and accountability, both the annual service charge and the services to be provided must be approved by a general meeting of the members of the OMC.
In relation to meetings, Section 17 (1) (b) of the Act requires the OMC to hold a meeting at least once a year where they are obliged to present annual report. These meetings shall take place within reasonable proximity to the estate, and at a reasonable time. These obligations are in addition to any other obligation or duty such a company would have under legislation such as, the Companies Act 2014.
Section 24 of the Act contains provisions for the resolution of disputes relating to multi-unit developments. It provides that a person, including any member of an OMC, may apply to the Circuit Court for an Order to enforce any rights conferred or obligations imposed by the Act. The Court, if satisfied that a right has been infringed or an obligation has not been discharged, may make such remedial order as it deems appropriate in the circumstances with a view to ensuring the effective enforcement of the right or the effective discharge of the obligation. The Act also contains provisions which encourage the resolution of disputes that may arise between parties by means of mediation rather than recourse to court proceedings.
More generally, statutory provisions governing the regulation of companies, including those concerning the memorandum and articles of association, the appointment and responsibilities of directors and requirements for submitting annual financial returns, are set out in the Companies Acts. Question No. 263 answered with Question No. 262. Question No. 264 answered with Question No. 262. Question No. 265 answered with Question No. 262. Question No. 266 answered with Question No. 262.