• Paul

Management Company Membership

Many owners of properties on the Barry Waterfront Development will have received a letter from Remus Management Ltd about company membership of the Barry Waterfront Residents Management Company Limited, though that might not be obvious as the letter subject does not include the full name of the Management Company. The error has already been referred to Remus.

Before going further, it is important that there is a full understanding of the terms used: [I know many will understand these already, but for the benefit of those that do not, I thought it wise to list them.]

Developer There are three developers involved on site – Barratt Homes; Persimmon Homes; and Taylor Wimpey. They are responsible for building the individual properties, and all the original purchasers will have bought from one or other of the developers.

Consortium For a development of this size, there are common areas of development, e.g. roads, drains, lighting, the village centre, play areas, open spaces, etc and the developers acting together as a consortium are responsible for the delivery of these facilities and areas. The consortium has appointed Whitehead Chartered Surveyors to act as project manager for these areas, and their contact is Fadiya Ahmed.

Management Company THIS IS THE ENTITY REFERRED TO IN THE CORRESPONDENCE. As part of the planning consents, the Vale of Glamorgan Council exercised their right not to accept the play areas and open spaces for adoption and management on completion of the development. Instead, a Management Company - Barry Waterfront Residents Management Company Limited - was registered at Companies House to have ownership and oversight of the management of these areas. The developers would appoint the directors of the management company initially, and membership of the company would be a requirement of every property owner on the development as part of the original purchase from the developers, or from previous owners for second and subsequent owners. The management company is a company limited by guarantee with an individual liability of £1.00 per member. Control of the company, and the ability to appoint directors will pass to the members once the development is complete.

Managing Agent The management company have appointed a Managing Agent – Remus Management Ltd – to carry out their responsibility for maintenance, and to act as Company Secretary to the management company.

Residents’ Association The Barry Waterfront Community Residents’ Association – BWCRA – is a properly constituted voluntary organisation formed ‘to promote, and where possible facilitate, a positive living experience for residents in the area.’

Returning to the letter, it should only have been received by those owners whose properties have been accepted by Remus from the developers, and who are receiving annual Maintenance Fee demands. Other residents will receive the letter as part of their introduction pack from Remus when their respective properties are handed over by the respective developer.

It is now nearly 2 years since BWCRA first discovered that while there was a requirement in the original sales documentation for purchaser to become company members, neither the vendors’ solicitors, nor Remus acting as company secretary to the company, pursued that requirement with any sense of diligence. The letter refers to the return of completed membership application forms from the purchaser’s solicitors, but we know that these were not even issued by the vendor’s solicitor in most cases. The requirement to be company members is clearly contained within conveyancing documentation and Forms TP1. During the past couple of years BWCRA has been working with Remus, to agree an effective solution to this problem, and this letter is the culmination of discussions and considerable additional work by Remus in consultation with individual developers and their legal representatives. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT BWCRA HAS A WRITTEN UNDERTAKING FROM REMUS THAT COSTS OF THIS ADDITIONAL WORK WILL NOT BE PASSED TO RESIDENTS, WHETHER DIRECTLY, OR INDIRECTLY.

As outlined above, the company is registered at Companies House as a company limited by guarantee and as such, the extent of a member’s liability for any failing on behalf of the company would be £1.00. Whereas the benefits of membership are that once the development is complete, the current directors will stand down, and members will be able to appoint other directors, and have control over their actions, including finances, and appointment of any managing agent, professional advisers, contractors, etc. Further, if an owner is not a member, there will be additional costs incurred should the owner decide to sell at a later date.

BWCRA would strongly advise owners to complete the Application For Membership attached to the letter inserting Barry Waterfront Residents Management Company Limited in the relevant line in the first box.

While recognising that this post may raise more questions than it answers, BWCRA will urgently consider how it might facilitate a possible open zoom meeting to answer questions. We shall post further information at the earliest opportunity.

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