Management fees limbo must be ended

Thousands of residents in Ongar, Latchford, Tyrrelstown and elsewhere remain locked into contracts with private management companies and are increasingly falling into arrears as the recession bites. Such residents should use the local elections to pass judgement on the parties who stood over this. They must elect candidates who have real track records – not just vocal opposition or gimmicks – of changing Fingal Council policy on this issue.

Few residents are aware that Fingal County Council cannot allow these management companies on new-build houses and limits them in apartment complexes. This policy was fought for by Socialist Party Councillors, Ruth Coppinger and Clare Daly. However, nothing has been done by the government or authorities to assist residents stuck in limbo. Cllr Coppinger is involved in the drawn-out legal process of getting houses in her own Castlecurragh estate released from the management company there – which would provide a blueprint for other estates to follow.

Spiralling arrears and dissatisfaction with management fees are being expressed on the Ongar doorsteps. Yet, it is almost four years since this was first raised in the Dail by Joe Higgins and the government have still failed to act.

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“I know one or two women... who probably don’t make very much money at all from working but they do it to keep their position on the career ladder, if you like. That’s a legitimate thing to do but if you can’t pay your mortgage as a result or you can’t buy your groceries as a result well then that’s something that needs to be taken into account in any insolvency arrangement.” This is the backward position of Minister Leo Varadkar commenting on upcoming insolvency legislation.