Owners Management Companies (OMCs)
The common areas in a multi-unit property are overseen by an owners’ management company. Each residential unit owner is entitled to membership in the owners’ management company and, in most cases, one vote. Alternative arrangements that are already in place may be maintained as long as they are just and equitable. A multi-unit development is one with at least five residential units sharing common facilities, amenities, and services. Managed estates are another name for multi-unit developments.
The OMC exists for three reasons:
- To be the legal owner of each unit’s beneficial or reversionary interest. This implies that the OMC owns a percentage of each unit.
- Managing and maintaining common areas in a multi-unit building.
- Being the legal owner of the common areas on behalf of the unit owners.
Owners’ management companies must adhere to the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011’s special requirements. They must also follow company law, which outlines the rights and obligations of owners as members of the owners’ management company. The Companies Act 2014 governs company law in Ireland. General meetings, director duties, company record-keeping, Annual reports, and financial statements are all covered by this Act.
- Company constitution: The constitution is the governing document of the owners’ management company. It establishes the rules for the company’s internal governance, and its provisions must be in accordance with company law. A constitution is required for every owner’s management company.
- Company directors: Owners’ management companies and their directors are in charge of managing the development’s shared facilities, amenities, and services. Directors of owners’ management companies are typically members of the company who were elected by the company’s wider membership. A director’s term is usually limited to three years. However, a serving director may be appointed or elected to serve for additional terms at annual general meetings if this is not prohibited by the company’s articles of association (part of the company constitution) or other governing documents.
- Membership of an OMC: When you purchase a property in a multi-unit development, you become a legal member of the OMC. This occurs automatically, which means you have legal rights and obligations. Your solicitor will obtain a copy of your membership or share certificate when you purchase a property. This is an important legal document that confirms your membership in the OMC as the owner of a unit. You have a say in how the common areas are managed as an OMC member. If you are elected as a Director of the OMC, you will be involved in the company’s management.
- Annual Report: The company must prepare an annual report and hold an annual meeting to discuss it. The report must include Annual service charges, the Sinking fund account, Income and expenditure, Contracts entered into by the company, Insurance cover, and Planned expenditure on maintenance and repair.
Owners’ management companies have been able to hold virtual general meetings since August 2020, allowing members to vote online. This change was implemented during COVID-19 to allow companies to hold general meetings. The Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions (Covid-19) Act 2020 provides for it, and it has been extended until December 31, 2022.
In addition, the company must file annual returns with the Companies Registration Office (CRO).
You may seek an order from the Circuit Court to enforce any rights or obligations imposed by the Act. The owners’ management company, a unit owner, a trustee under a will or other agreement, a tenant, and the developer are all included. Instead of issuing an order, the Court may direct the parties to attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation.
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