A little book caught my eye while paying in Dubray books: ‘The Essential Guide to Apartment Living in Ireland‘ by Robert Gogan. At 15 euro for under 200 A5 pages, I thought it was a bit steep. I had a quick flick through it and it looked well thought out. I was further encouraged when I saw that it has only just been published. Being an apartment owner, I thought that it could be a wise investment. After all, it costs less than 3 tubs of Ben and Jerry’s!
I have had a good read of some chapters already, and I think that it’s a handy book to have. It’s well laid out with sections on buying, what you own, management, day to day life, finance, legal matters and insurance. There is a helpful glossary at the back too. The author has both a legal and property management background, which makes for a good mix – the book is very thorough, but it focuses on the practical issues. So while it explains all about management agencies etc, it also has helpful advice on how to deal with troublesome neighbours. Best of all, it is written in plain English, despite the somewhat complex nature of the legal aspects of apartment living.
I’ve already picked up a few things I was not aware of. I’ll be checking that I have my management company membership certificate for a start. Other points that I had a vague understanding of are much clearer now. While the material is not the most fascinating, the tone is quite down-to-earth throughout and it makes for lighter reading than I thought. The author shares his own view from time to time. Perhaps that’s not a great idea for a factual book like this, but it makes it a bit more entertaining. He informs us that there are “thousands of unreasonable people living all around us” and, therefore, “inevitably” “these individuals” will be in your apartment development. He finds that tenants do not “have as much regard for the considerations of their neighbours”, an opinion based on his own experience of 90% of House Rule breaches involving tenants.
Diversions like these may be better suited to a blog, and I discovered tonight that the book has an entire website to go along with it complete with forum, guestbook (how quaint!) and blog. It seems that you have to register to comment which I don’t like, but I think they are still working on the website, so that may change. While I know that neighbours.ie is great for individual developments, this is the first site I know of devoted to apartment living in Ireland in general, despite it being such a big niche. I’m increasingly out of the loop these days, so there are probably dozens of other websites already! Holler if you know any. 🙂