The Council may, to provide for the continued maintenance and amenity of a residential development, when granting a planning permission under Section 34 of the Act, include conditions requiring the establishment of a Management Company pursuant to the Companies Acts, 1963 as amended. While the existence of a management company may not be a barrier to the Council taking in charge certain publicly accessible services attendant to the development (in accordance with Section 180 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended)), there are certain key services or areas of a development that remain private but common to the residents in such developments.
It is appropriate that an ongoing means of maintaining these private common areas and facilities be established in the interests of residents. Typically these may include areas or services not found in traditional housing estates such as secure or delineated parking, boundary/gable walls common to multiple units, enclosed common gardens/roof gardens, high specification landscaping or paving, internal common areas such as lobbies/lifts etc. Furthermore other arrangements that may be carried out by the Management Company might include refuse collection/storage or building insurance for common areas and insurance for public liability risk.
It is in this context that Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government guidance has advocated ongoing management of such shared facilities that are to the benefit of residents in developments such as apartment blocks, multi occupancy units, gated developments and or specific private services or facilities for the use of residents only such as private parking, private playgrounds etc.
In relevant cases, prior to the occupation of the [first residential unit], a management agreement and plan clearly identifying the external common areas of the development being retained in private ownership is submitted to the Planning Authority. The management company may be required to provide for areas and services that legally cannot be taken in charge by the Council such as those outlined in the second paragraph above. Upon formation of such a Company, operational matters pertaining to the functions of said Company shall be a matter for the members of the company. Other provisions relating to management companies are contained in the Multi Unit Developments Act 2011.
The existence of a management company does not imply that the developer is not required to adhere to the Councils completion standard for taking in charge all the roads, including footpaths, verges, public lighting, open space, sewers, water mains or drains, forming part of the development. In this regard the security submitted by the developer is retained until it is proven that such publicly accessible services of general utility are completed to the same standard that is applicable in more traditional housing developments where such services may be offered to be taken in charge by the Council. In this manner the same minimum standards of completion apply to the public areas of traditional housing estates and privately managed multi unit residential developments.