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As apartment owners, what should we look for in our management company’s accounts?

See details below in relation to a query issued to the Property clinic from a reader:

We recently sold our house, where we had lived for 40 years, and downsized to an apartment nearby. We have now received documentation from the owners’ management company in relation to various administrative matters in advance of a planned AGM in the coming months. The documents include financial statements in relation to the last financial year.

Neither my husband nor I have a financial background and we are wondering where to start as regards understanding these. Is there anything specific we should look out for?

Answer:

The system in place in Ireland for the management of multi-unit developments (MUDs) is that they are managed via owners’ management companies (OMCs). These are normal companies, registered with the Companies Registration Office (CRO), and as such require financial statements to be lodged with the CRO annually. Such statements are, by their nature, technical, and, like yourselves, many property owners do not have any experience in how to engage with them.

It is good that you are engaging with the OMC because, as with any company, good financial management is fundamental to good general management and it is important that members of the company monitor this. If an OMC is not well managed financially, then it will not be able to undertake the tasks set out for it under the lease agreements for the development. And, if it is not building a good sinking fund for long-term investments, then poor financial management will come back to haunt property owners.

Read the full details in the Irish Times

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