The Maintenance Agreements under the new Law on the condominium ownership management

From 1st May 2009 a new Law on the condominium ownership management is in force. This Law regulates the public relations, related to the management of the common areas of the condominium ownership, as well as the rights and duties of the owners in the block of apartments. By law the common areas are: the land on which the building is constructed, the courtyard, the foundations, the external walls, the internal dividing walls between separate parts, the internal supporting walls, columns, cross beams, floor slabs, trimmer joists, staircases, landings, roofs, walls between attic and basement premises of the individual owners, chimneys, external entrance doors to the building, and the doors to the common parts of the attic and basement, the main lines for all manner of installations and their central outfits, elevators, drain-pipes, the janitor's apartment and everything else which by its nature or purpose serves for common use.
According to the new Law on the condominium ownership management the management of the common areas of buildings in regime of condominium ownership, built in a housing estate of closed type shall be done by a written agreement with notarized signatures of the investor and the owners of separate premises. Because of the above it is very important the Maintenance Agreement to be read and considered in details before its signing as the Agreements are registered at the Land register and shall be opposed of its following transferee.
The owners of separate premises under condominium ownership regime shall have the right to: use the condominium according to their function as well as to participate in the management of the condominium.
The owners shall: not hinder the other owners and occupants to use the common areas of condominium; not cause damage to other premises and to the condominium, not occupy common areas of the condominium; not perform in their separate premise or in part of it activities, which would disturb the other owners and occupants to a greater extend, than the usual one; not change the architecture appearance, the bearing walls, the stability of the building construction, the fire safety or the safe usage of the condominium; implement the requirements of the legislative acts while keeping animals in their separate premises and not cause disturbance to their close neighbors; not violate the good manners; implement the decisions of the management bodies of the condominium; pay the expenses for the basic, current or urgent repairing for reconstruction and renovation of the condominium common areas in reference to the possessed shares in them; pay the consumable expenses for maintenance of the common areas;. observe the sanitary hygiene regulations; provide access in their separate premise or in part of it for performing the needed research, design, measurement, building and construction works, related to the maintenance, basic, current or urgent repair, reconstruction or renovation of common areas or other premises; assist the activity of the competent bodies while doing fire-extinguishing or accident-safety activity inside and in the surroundings of the building; compensate the damages, caused to other premises in the building, in cases where they result from removal of damages in their own premises or part of them; use the common areas of the condominium, as provided by the Rules of Internal Order; perform other duties, provided by the Rules of Internal Order.
Also, an owners’ book shall be kept in every condominium or in each entrance of the condominium.
The forms of the condominium management are the General Meeting (which is consisting of all the owners in the complex) or an Owners’ Association. The widespread form of condominium management is the General Meetings which are consisting of all the owners in the complex.
The management bodies shall be:
1. General Meeting;
2. Managing Board, (Manager).
One of the important rights of the General meeting is to determine the amount of the installments for the costs on the management and maintenance of the condominium. This means that each buyer as a member of the General Meeting could be involved in the discussion for determination of the maintenance fee.
The General meeting also shall adopt, amend and supplement the Rules of Internal Order as well as to elect and dismiss members of the Managing Board (Manager) and the cashier. The General Meeting could adopt decision for assigning activities on the maintenance of the common areas of the condominium to a legal or natural person for remuneration, defining concrete powers of the Managing Board (Manager). If in the Maintenance Agreement is specified the Manager, this means that the owner chooses and agree with the specified in the Agreement person as a Manager of the block of apartments.
The General Meeting shall be called at least once a year by the manager.
In cases where a new condominium ownership has been established, the first General Meeting shall be called within 6 months after its establishment by owners of separate premises, who have at least 20% shares of the common areas.
The General Meeting shall be called through an invitation, which shall be delivered at least 3 days before the date of the meeting, and in urgent cases – at least 24 hours before that, and is put at a visible place in the condominium. The invitation shall be delivered to the owner, the occupant or to an adult from the household, which is entered into the book. The delivery shall be verified by a receipt in two copies, which shall be signed by the receiving person and the deliverer, stating the date and the time of delivery. In cases, where the owner of the occupant is absent or refuses to receive the invitation, it shall be reckoned for delivered, after sticking it on the entrance door. The sticking of the invitations shall be verified by the deliverer by a protocol, which shall contain the circumstances, under which the invitation has not been delivered in person, the date and the time of its sticking. The protocol shall be signed by a witness, owner or occupant of the condominium ownership. An owner, who does not live in the separate premises of the condominium, shall be invited through a person, authorized by him/her.
The General Meeting shall be held if owners of at least 67% shares of the common areas of the condominium ownership or their representatives are present in person at the meeting. The General Meeting shall be held at an appropriate place in the condominium ownership, its belonging area or at another place, close to it.
The General Meeting shall be represented by the Chairperson or another member of the Managing Board or the Manager. Records shall be kept during the General Meeting. The recorder shall be elected with a general majority upon proposal by the chairing person.
The Managing Board shall be elected for the term of up to 2 years.
The owners could create an Association of the Owners. The association of owners is a legal entity. The Association of the Owners should be registered in the Municipal or regional administration an application of entering the association in the Public register.
In cases of change of the ownership on separate premises, the association membership shall be transferred to the new owner.
Every owner may request a repeal of an illegal decision of the General Meeting. The application shall be filed to the Regional court, of the region where the condominium ownership is situated.
The General Meeting of the owners or the association shall establish and maintain a Repair and Renovation Fund. The funds shall be collected from installments of the owners in an amount, determined by the General Meeting decision or other sources. The consumable and current maintenance expenses for the common areas of the condominium ownership shall be distributed equally according to the number of the owners and occupants.
In conclusion, the owners in the condominium ownership shall observe strictly the new provisions of the Law on the condominium ownership management and shall be familiar with their rights and duties so that an effective management in the block of apartments could be conducted.

This article was created by Valova&Angelova law firm.