Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “Currently Northern Ireland is behind the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland when it comes to giving apartment owners greater rights over the management of communal areas in their apartment block. Many apartment owners are paying large sums of money to companies that are meant to look after the communal areas such as the corridors or car parks, but in some of these apartment blocks essential maintenance and cleaning work is simply not being carried out.
“In some cases apartment owners are being ripped off by nefarious management companies that are failing to fulfil their legal obligations.
“The Private Member’s Bill that I am hoping to introduce to the Assembly will remedy this situation as the current laws do not give apartment owners as much protection as those in rest of the UK or the Republic of Ireland.
“My Bill would also ensure that developers relinquish any control of the management company once they have sold the last apartment. This is not always happening at the minute and this can often cause a conflict of interest.
“My Private Member’s Bill would introduce parallel legislation to England and Wales that allows apartment owners to set up their own management company if a majority of them believe their current management company is not carrying out the duties that they are being paid for.
“This issue could become even more of a problem in several years time when people start selling apartments in many of the developments that have been built over the past ten years. This is currently a legal minefield and we need to protect the rights of the apartment owners with a Bill like this.
“If anybody wishes to respond to the consultation that I am carrying out on this Private Members Bill then they should write to me at the following address.”