Common Areas Of Department Developments

Author:Ms Linda Conway
Profession:Dillon Eustace
 
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  1. Introduction

    When purchasing an apartment within a development, the usual

    title furnished is long leasehold. This may be either Land

    Registry long leasehold or Registry of Deeds long leasehold.

    Each development has communal areas, which are used by all

    apartment owners to access their respective apartments.

    Accordingly, the freehold title to the development is not

    transferred to any one apartment owner and is retained by the

    landowner. This includes all of the common areas. The common

    areas can include, but are not limited to, the entrance to the

    apartment block, elevators, stairways, open spaces and parking

    spaces.

  2. Role of the Management Company

    In the normal course of events, a management company is

    incorporated for the purpose of accepting a transfer of the

    common areas from the freehold owner and to maintain and upkeep

    the common areas within the development.

    Once the agreement for sale of the common areas to the

    management company is executed, the management company has a

    beneficial interest in the development. Accordingly, the

    management company joins with the freehold owner of the

    property as a party to the lease for the purposes of effecting

    the transfer of the property to a purchaser of an apartment in

    the development. The freehold owner of the property may be

    either a company or an individual. The lease is the document

    which gives the purchaser title to the property, and is usually

    for a period of 999 years or 500 years, subject to an annual

    nominal rent in the sum of 1.00 euro or thereabouts. The lease

    contains covenants and conditions which bind the purchaser, the

    vendor and the management company.

    The developer maintains responsibility for the common areas

    within the development until the transfer of the common areas

    to the management company has been effected. The exception to

    this is where some of the common areas, such as the roads and

    services within the development are taken in charge by the

    local authority.

  3. Role of the Apartment Owners

    Each apartment owner is obliged to become a member of the

    management company on completion of the purchase of an

    apartment in the development and to pay an annual service

    charge towards the upkeep of the common areas. When purchasing

    an apartment within a development, the contract for sale will

    usually contain a special condition which provides as

    follows:

    "The purchaser hereby applies for membership of and

    agrees to become a member of the management company. The

    purchaser shall be...

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