Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dublin property agent faces strike-off - The Irish Times - Fri, Oct 05, 2012

ASSURED PROPERTY Management Ltd, a prominent Dublin property management agent, has been listed for strike-off by the Companies Registration Office.

The Irish Times has learned that a number of apartment management companies have terminated their contracts with Assured in the last few weeks.

Property agents like Assured are appointed by apartment owners, through their management companies, to manage the communal areas of apartment complexes, including the organisation of refuse collection, gardening and general maintenance.

Winton Asset Management Company, the management company for Fitzwilliam Court apartment block in Ranelagh, wrote to the owners of the apartments in August seeking an immediate levy of €750 to allow the company to continue managing the property.

“The company is in a desperate financial situation,” the letter states, and payment is imperative “otherwise the electricity supply will stop, the block insurance will cease and the refuse collection will stop”.

The most recent accounts for Winton Asset Management Company, for the year ended March 2012, show that the company was owed €56,408 by Assured Property Management Ltd at the end of March 2012.

Winton made a provision of €46,522 for the sum in its 2011 accounts, and a further €9,886 in its 2012 year. It is continuing to “endeavour to recover the amount owed”, the accounts state.

Similarly, latest accounts for St Helens Wood Management Company, which runs St Helen’s Wood apartment complex on Booterstown Avenue, shows that the company was owed €70,224 by Assured Property Management at the end of March 2011.

The accounts for St Helens state that service charges from some property owners were paid directly into Assured Property Management’s accounts, rather than St Helens Wood Management Company and the “payments by the company to APM Ltd are in excess of the value of invoices”.

Assured Property Management was established in 2001, and is believed to have managed more than 40 apartment complexes and other multi-unit developments on behalf of management companies at its peak, though most of its clients have terminated their contract with the company, with the fall-off accelerating in the last six weeks.

The directors of Assured Property Management are Ben Haskins and Orla Fitzpatrick. A spokeswoman for the company said yesterday that “any allegations of overpayment are being dealt with by our solicitors and accountants”.

Most apartment owners are shareholders in their mangement company.

While historically developers maintained control of these management companies, the multi-unit development act introduced last year required developers to hand over ownership of all common areas of apartment complexes to owners by September 2011.

Other apartment complexes that have recently terminated their contracts with Assured Property management are the Smithfield Gate complex in Dublin 7 and Dorset Square apartments in Dublin 1.

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