2011 Bulgarian Condominium Act Amendments

The last changes in the Law on the Condominium Ownership Management made on 26/07/2011 have the purpose to achieve better understanding and more non-discrepant enforcing of the law. Some of the procedures have been made simpler; there are some new rulings included.

 

Here is a list of the most important changes:

 

1. The appointees of properties in condominium ownerships are now entitled with the same powers with regards to their participation of the management of the building like the owners of separate units. Usually, such appointees are parents who have transferred the ownership of the property to their children but have kept the life-interest on the property, as well as persons who have been granted the right of use particularly following the respective order. Most commonly part of the first group are elderly people who have an experience and a serious behaviour against the management of the block of flats.

 

2. The procedures for calling and holding of the General meeting were made simpler – it should be called through an invitation which should be put in generally accessible and prominent places not later than 7 days before the date of the meeting and in case of urgency – not later than 24 hours before that. Until now, the calling of the General meeting happened by handling of individual invitations in writing (or by pasting of notifications on the door if the owner has not been found there) which made the whole procedure more complicated. If the meeting cannot start at the time annouced in the invitation because of lack of quorum of 67% of the ideal shares, it shall be adjourned for one hour, it shall be held under the agenda previously announced and it shall be considered legal if there were presented not less than 33 % of the ideal shares of the common shares of the condominium ownership. This is another especially essential novelty – until now after the expire of one hour the General meeting was allowed to be in session even in the presence of 1% of the ideal shares but now a lower limit has been drawn – if there are not at least 33% of the owners (calculated as idel shares) the General meeting cannot be lawfully held.

 

3. Another change in the Law concerns the representation before the General meeting – the owners could be represented by a lawyer authorized by a Power of Attorney in writing which is not necessary to be notarized (like it was until now) and one lawyer could represent 3 owners mostly. It is also possible for the owner to authorize another family member to represent him before the General meeting, and it is enough this to be made in writing only. In all other cases when the owner authorizes third party for representation before the General meeting, the Power of Attorney shall be notarized.

 

4. Another long-expected novelty is connected to the stimulation of the initiatives for renovation of the buildings – now it is possible for the Associations of the owners to be constituted with a majority of 67 % of the ideal shares – the requisition before that was 100%. In this case, the Association can nominate a representative who can participate at the General meeting according to the rules set by the law. The purpose is that these juridical persons to be able to apply for co-finance of renovations before the nations, municipal and European funds.

 

5. The texts related to the payment of the expenses for management and maintenance of the common parts of the building/entrance (the utilities) were also revised. This new resolution of the law-maker could be described as minus considering the fact that according to it the participation of each separate unit of the building in these expenses shall be determined not by the floorage of the property (respectively, to its percentage share of the common parts of the building) but depending on the number of the persons living in it. This is to a certain degree unfair because by taking of the resolutions of the General meetings the owners participate respectively to their share of the common parts of the building, and by the payment of the expenses – to the number of the occupants. If we compare an apartment of 100 sq.m inhabited by one person to an apartment of 50 sq.m inhabited by 5 persons, then the second apartment will be represented by twice less votes on the General meeting (because its floorage is twice less) but they will have to pay 5 times more for the utilities (because its occupants are five times more).

 

6. The texts about the contents of the book of the owners were made more precise. Its contents were clearly defined. It shall contain identification and description of the separate unit (its function and built-up area), its share of the common parts of the building, the names of the owner(s) (if they are physical persons) or the name and the unified identification code (if they are juridical persons), the names of the household members who live together with the owner, the starting date of the occupation, the names of the occupants of the unit having their own legal grounds (non-owner, e.g. tenants) and the starting date of the occupation, information about temporary-staying persons living in the unit more than one month, date of entering and date of leaving (guests, relatives etc.) An important detail is that the Personal Identification Number of the person and the number of the title deed of the property shall not be listed. In a separate column of the book each owner, appointee or occupant shall list also the owned by them or the taken for breeding animals which are brought out to public places and for the dogs – the number of their veterinary passport also.

 

7. A possibility for activating of the procedures of registering of the condominium ownership with the municipal/regional administration was created by lowering of the volume of the information about the building which shall be delivered to the Municipality/Region. Some of the data is already filled in automatically.

 

Generally, the changes deserve a positive rating as they create more clarity and make the whole process of management of the condominium ownerships easier.

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