Business Commercial Property

Saturday 30 August 2014

Apartments in favour as tenants seek legal advice

Sarah Stack

Published 06/07/2014 | 03:31

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HEAD: Apartmentlaw.ie founder Sonia McEntee

SOLICITOR Sonia McEntee saw her wages slashed by 70pc after the property bubble burst.

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Her firm was specialising on conveyancing when the building boom collapsed and her take-home pay plummeted. That was 2009.

Ms McEntee spent the next 12 months developing another niche in the property market, and is now an expert in apartment law settling complex legal disputes between tenants, owners and management companies.

“The conveyancing business almost collapsed overnight,” said Ms McEntee (41), who runs Sonia McEntee Solicitors in Dublin 2.

“My income hasn’t balanced off yet. My personal income dropped by 70pc from one year to the next, and it’s up by about 20pc since then.

“But it is recovering and this year is looking better than last year.”

Despite feeling the full impact of the recession, the Cavan mother-of-two never let go of any staff and managed to grow as new business built-up. She is the process of hiring a new full-time solicitor, to work along a part-time solicitor and a legal executive, who started

SARAH STACKthrough JobBridge three years ago.

Starting rates for newly qualified solicitors in Dublin can range from €30,000 to €45,000 depending on experience and the size of the firm.

She said the most coming issues handled by her firm – www.apartmentlaw.ie – include perusing tenants or owners for service charges, chasing developers about construction problems or unfinished estates, and transfer of ownership communal areas.

“It has worked, slowly things are getting better,” she added. “But it took a lot of hard work and effort.”

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