Management Companies

01 What is a Management Company?

A so called "management company" is a company registered in the CRO usually as a Company limited by Guarantee (CLG) or a Designated Activity Company (DAC),  with an object clause to manage a multi-unit development. The "management company" owns the common areas of the development such as: car parks, green space, stairwells, lifts and communal hallways and maintains them for the benefit of all property owners and typically provides for insurance cover.

On acquiring a unit within the development, in addition to the apartment or house such person also shares ownership of the common areas. Stemming from this, it is usually a condition of the purchaser's contract that they sign a co-ownership agreement which obliged them to become a member of the management company.    These co-ownership agreements are essentially rooted in the laws of contract and private property,  rather than in any particular Act of the Oireachtas.  Following on from this, it should be clear that the requirement to become a member of a management company is not a requirement under company law. 

There is no special body of company law which applies only to so called "management companies" or is applied differently so far as management companies are concerned.  The "FAQ" (Frequently Asked Questions) section of this website answers most general company law type questions in relation to all companies.  Most of the issues arising in the so called "management companies" are not company law issues and the ODCE cannot assist.   The attached document lists the breaches of company law where ODCE can assist with.

02 Are management companies a product of company law?

No. It is important to stress that management companies have no special meaning and are in no way a requirement of company law. There is nothing in the Companies Act which states that a management company must be brought into existence in connection with any multi-unit development, and some multi-unit developments exist which do not have a management company associated with them. Furthermore, it is important to point out and emphasise that there is no special body of company law that applies solely to management companies.

03 Where can I find the legal source from which management companies operate?

Court Rulings

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Director of Public Prosecutions v Sean O’Neill

29 November 2019

Following an investigation carried out by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, a file was submitted and a direction to charge was received from the Director of Public Prosecutions. 

On the 24th July 2019 an Auditor Mr Sean O’Neill was arrested and charged with 23 counts of theft, Contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001. The offences related to theft of €28,520 the property of the Department of Social Protection. 

On the 1st November 2019 the defendant pleaded guilty to a single indictment for Theft contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud) Offences Act 2001 before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. 

Detective Garda Miriam Redican a member of An Garda Síochána and an officer of ODCE gave evidence of the facts of the case. On the 28th November 2019 the matter was before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court and the defendant was sentenced by Judge Martin Nolan to 24 months imprisonment, the final 19 months were suspended on certain conditions including the necessity to repay €18,000 to the Department of Social Protection.

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