Dublin City Council is paying annual management charges of up to €2,958 per apartment, for tenants living in social housing built by private developers.
The council’s 2020 bill for management charges is projected to hit €2.7 million, but that figure is expected to rise exponentially in the coming years as more tenants are housed in private apartments acquired by the council.
Part V of the planning Acts requires developers to sell 10 per cent of their apartment blocks and housing estates of more than 10 homes to their local authority for social housing.
While the council secures the homes at a discount, it faces ongoing annual fees to management companies which it does not have to pay on the social housing it builds.
In 2020 the council will pay management fees on the 1,500 properties it has secured from developers amounting to €2.7 million, with charges ranging from €235 to €2,958 per apartment and averaging €1,800.
It has been paying the €2,958 fee on eight properties in one complex, a total of €23,664 annually, since 2013. Each charge includes a €300 contribution to the building’s sinking fund.
Tenants of these blocks all make a flat fee contribution of €2 per week, regardless of the cost of the management charge, but tenants living in complexes and estates built by the council pay no charge.
The costs to the council are expected to escalate in the coming years with the increased apartment and house construction in the city resulting in more private housing being acquired by the council.
Fine Gael councillor Paddy McCartan said the ongoing costs were not sustainable and tenants should be asked to pay more.
“These tenants do get a service for their €2 – they don’t have to pay bin charges, they have the benefit of lighting or security services. I personally think people could be asked to pay €6-€7 for that.”
Mr McCartan noted that approved housing bodies who buy private units are able to recoup the management charges from the State, but local authorities cannot.
“This is storing up a huge problem for the council. When people are clamouring for more apartments to be bought in the docklands and these other high cost places in the city, I think they are forgetting, or simply don’t know, that this management charge has to be paid.”