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CHANGES TO THE HORIZONTAL PROPERTY REGIME

The Law 8/2022 of January 10, was the most recent amendment to the regime of the horizontal property, which came into force today, April 10, 2022.

This regime, commonly, has as its object the condominium relations, in all its expressions, and the subjective legal situation of buildings constituted in horizontal property.

And in this scope, the changes are as follows:

1 – Constitutive deed (Article 1419 of Civil Code)

The horizontal property law establishes the rule that the alteration of the constitutive title of the horizontal property is only possible with the agreement of all the joint owners, that is, with the unanimity of all the joint owners. With the amendment of Law 8/2022 of 10 January, it is now possible to proceed with the judicial suppression of the necessary consent, if the votes of the condominium members that do not vote in favor of the amendment of the horizontal property deed are less than 1/10 of the invested capital and if the amendment of the horizontal property deed does not imply a change in the usage conditions, relative value or purpose of the fractions.

2 – Regarding the maintenance expenses of the common parts (Article 1424 of the Civil Code)

The new law clarifies that the expenses necessary for the maintenance and use of the common parts of the building, as well as those related to services of common interest, will now have as a criterion of responsibility for those expenses the condition that the condominium member is the owner of the fraction(s) at the time of the deliberations that decided them. In practice, this means that a certain unit owner is not responsible for the payment of the interventions in the common areas in case he doesn’t own the specific fraction now the intervention was decided.

3 – Concept of indispensable and urgent repairs (Article 1427 of the Civil Code)

Article 1427 no. 2 of the Civil Code, in its new wording, clarifies what is meant by “indispensable and urgent” repairs: those that in a short period of time are necessary for the elimination of defects or pathologies existing in the common parts that, at any time, may cause or worsen damage to property or put at risk the safety of people.

4 – Convening of the Condominium’s Assembly (Article 1431 of the Civil Code)

The new law provides an extension to the time of the building owners’ meeting, exceptionally, the meeting can be held in the first half of each year, provided that the condominium by-laws or the resolution of the building owners’ meeting is approved by most owners.

5 – Electronic notice of meeting (Article 1432 of Civil Code)

This normative amendment corresponds to what has already been the practice in the current pandemic context, where face-to-face acts have been limited or reduced to a minimum. Therefore, the Law no. 8/2022 of January 10, changes the article 1432 of Civil Code, allowing the notice of the condominium meetings to be communicated by e-mail to the condominium owners who express their intention to be convened by this means. The intention should be recorded in the minutes and the e-mail address should be indicated.

6 – Revision of the functions of the administrator of the condominium (Article 1436 of Civil Code)

The law that will come into force provides for new functions for the Condominium Administrator:

– Verify the existence of the common reserve fund.

– Demand the condominium owners’ share of the approved costs, including the legal interest, as well as the penalty payments imposed by the building regulation or the resolution of the meeting.

– Carry out the resolutions of the building authority within 15 working days or within the period set by the building authority, provided that the resolutions are not objected.

– The duty to inform, in writing or by e-mail, the unitholders whenever the condominium is summoned or notified in judicial proceedings, arbitration proceedings, injunction proceedings, administrative proceedings or administrative proceedings.

– The duty to inform the apartment owners, at least every six months in writing or by e-mail, about the progress of any legal proceedings, arbitration proceedings, injunction proceedings, administrative offences, or administrative proceedings. With the exception, naturally, of everything that is subject to judicial confidentiality or processes whose information must be kept confidential.

– Within a maximum period of 10 days, issue the statement of debt of the apartment owner, if requested by the owner for the purpose of alienation of the apartment. This provision has two obligations, the administrator is obligated to issue the declaration of debt of the apartment owner, and the apartment owner is obligated to submit the declaration if he/she sells the apartment (according to Article 1424-A).

– Intervene in the urgent situation by calling an extraordinary meeting of the apartment owners to ratify (confirm) the action.

7 – Representation of the condominium in court (Article 1437 of the Civil Code)

The legal representation of the condominium in court is always through the building manager, who can act in court in accordance with the duties assigned to him, either as a representative of the unitholders in general or when expressly appointed by the general meeting. However, in case of a criminal complaint related to a common part of the condominium, the presentation of such a complaint does not depend on the authorization of the assembly.

 

Law 8/2022 of 10 January, changes article 54 of the Notaries’ Code in the sense that in the case of transfer or division of rights over the condominium units (which is a simple example of a purchase and sale transaction), it cannot be executed without reference to the declaration of debt drawn up by the condominium manager (Article 1424-A), which includes the declaration of debt drawn up by the notary. This statement must contain the amount of all condominium charges, the specification of their nature, amounts and payment deadlines, as well as, if any, the debts and their nature, amounts involved, constitution and maturity dates; all in relation to the unit which is the subject of the sale, for example, unless the buyer expressly waives the requirement for such a statement by the administrator in writing, in which case, pursuant to such waiver, the buyer will be liable to the condominium for any debt owed by the seller.

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