1What is an Owners Management Company?

An Owners’ Management Company (OMC) legally owns the common areas of a development and is responsible for their maintenance and upkeep. Since the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2001 all new developments must have an OMC in place before the first unit is sold. For developments built prior to the Act, developers are legally obliged to establish an OMC.

The OMC is essentially the property owners’ company. Each owner is a member of the OMC and are obliged to:

  • Pay management fees
  • Pay sinking fund contributions
  • Follow house rules

2What are the obligations of the OMC?

OMC’s must operate according to the rules of company law that apply to any other commercial company, even though they are not trading or for profit. There is an onus on the OMC to:

  • File returns with the Companies Registration Office (CRO)
  • Hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM)
  • Keep proper set of accounts

If the company is not managed properly and is struck off the Register of companies by the CRO, it can be very difficult to sell units until the OMC is restored to the register.

3What are my rights as an OMC member?

As a member of an OMC you can expect the following:

  • Adequate notice of the company’s general meetings
  • Timely information about the company’s operations and finances
  • To participate and vote in the AGM under Section 15 of MUD Act
  • To receive copies of:
    • Memorandum and Articles of Association
    • Minutes of meetings
    • Company registers
    • Financial statements & auditors reports

4How do I become a Director of an OMC?

As an OMC member you are entitled to express an interest in becoming a Director or to vote for someone else to become a Director. At the AGM you file a director nomination form and this nomination must be voted on by other members of the OMC.

5What is a Managing Agent?

A developer or OMC employs a managing agent to oversee the day to day running of the OMC and to provide maintenance and other services on developments. The agent works under instruction of the OMC and will typically look after areas such as:

  • Inspecting and maintaining common areas
  • Organising waste collection
  • Collecting annual service charges
  • Company secretarial duties
  • Organising meetings between OMC & members
  • Responding to enquiries form owners

If you are not happy with your Managing Agent, raise the issue with your OMC.

6What is the difference between a Management Company and a Management Agent?

The Owners Management Company (OMC) is the company that owns the common areas, of which the property owner is a member.

The Managing Agent is the company (such as HouseLet) appointed to oversee the day to day running of the OMC on behalf of its owners.

A developer or OMC employs a managing agent to oversee the running of the OMC and to provide maintenance and other services on developments. The agent works under instruction of the OMC whereas the OMC works to serve its members.

7What is an Annual Service Charge?

It is the annual fee paid by property owners to pay for the services provided by the OMC. If they are not paid it will adversely affect the running of your development. They are usually paid annually in advance to cover any expenses that may occur such as street lighting, landscaping, waste services, cleaning, lifts, insurance etc.

8Does every property owner have to pay an Annual Service Charge?

Section 18 of the MUD Act provides that the owner of each unit, including the developer, shall be under obligation to pay all management fees levied by the OMC.

This is agreed by you upon signing the lease when you acquire the property.

Even if you are not happy with how the OMC is being run, you should not withhold your management fees as this may lead to a deterioration in estate services and issues with the CRO.

9How is my Annual Service Charge calculated?

A Board of Directors is elected by the owners at the Owners Management Company AGM. This board works together with the Managing Agent to calculate how much it will cost to run all of the services for the year and will compile a budget for these expenses. This budget is then approved at your AGM and charged to all members.

Apportionment is a widely used method to decide individual service charge. This method factors in the size and type of unit in calculating the percentage of the overall service charge bill each owner must pay.

10What is a sinking fund?

It is a rainy-day fund for capital expenditure in the development. A proportion of the Annual Service Charge is put aside for the replacement or refurbishment of major common area items such as lifts, painting, refuse areas, roof upgrades, landscaping etc. Each OMC member is legally obliged to pay into this sinking fund.

11What repairs and maintenance are the OMC responsible for?

The OMC is only responsible for the common areas. They are not responsible for any repairs inside houses or apartments.

12What is a Precedent Pre-Contract Enquiries (formerly known as Requisitions 37)

Upon purchasing a property, the prospective buyer’s solicitor will raise some general queries about the property by way of Precedent Pre-Contract Enquiries. These are a standard set of question set out in the MUD Act 2011. The selling solicitor will contact the OMC or Managing Agent to complete these questions. Once the sale has been finalised the OMC or Managing Agent must be informed in order to keep records up to date.

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