instruct solicitor for general meeting of condominiumLast week we were instructed by a client to represent him and attend an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the condominium apartment hotel at the Black Sea. The AGM was convened by the maintenance company, which claimed also to be the Manager of the complex. The invitation didn’t indicate any details, such as, who represents the maintenance company in its capacity of Manager or even how a third party, not owner,  can be a Manager at all.

Legislation discrepancies are carefully kept away from condominium owners

After the discussions on the agenda topics began I had to bring the point on whether the condominium was registered with the municipality according to the requirements of COMA. The maintenance company representatives were clearly confused and surprised since nobody has ever challenged the information they have given without backing it up with documents.

It turned out that there are severe breaches of the legislation:

  1. The complex consist of three buildings, but the maintenance company claimed that the all three were registered under a single condominium
  2. The maintenance fees are charged per square metre of the owned apartment, whereas these should be charged per owner/occupier.

Despite making the above points, and quoting the respected articles of COMA I had to meet insults and unprofessional comments, ordering me to keep my comments to myself.  It was clear that the maintenance company didn’t want the effective legislation to be known to the owners and thus keep the maintenance fees flowing to the maintenance company.

Ignorance will cost fortune to the condominium owners in the future

Whether is is fear or ignorance, none of the owners paid any serious attention to my words. I have tried to explain that non complying the COMA regulations will lead to illegal AGM decisions. Consequently, any owner will be able to appeal the AGM decisions and request from court refund for any monies illegally collected from the maintenance company. Any owner could instruct a solicitor who will file a claim within one month period after the minutes from the AGM are ready. On the top of that if the AGM decisions are declared as illegal and thus void, by the court all other owners will be ordered to pay the claimant legal expenses (court fee, solicitor fee, petrol costs).

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  • Sally Ann Ryall 10 September 2012 Reply

    The maintenance fees are charged per square metre of the owned apartment, whereas these should be charged per owner/occupier

    Could you please explain what you mean by this as it was my impression that fees are charged by the size of apartment and a percentage of the common areas? Thanks

    • Milen Hristov 12 September 2012 Reply

      The fees shouldn’t be charges as per sqare metre, since Article 51 of the Condominium Ownership Management Act explicitly, in plain words regulates how payments for maintenance of the common parts should be distributed i.e. based on numbers of owners/occupiers. If maintenance companies are charging for maintenance based on square meter that would be illegal.

  • frank 13 September 2012 Reply

    Does this mean that an owner of the largest apartment should pay the same maintenance fee as the owner of the smallest.?

    • Milen Hristov 14 September 2012 Reply

      It depends. The law also refers to occupiers, not only to owners. This means that the AGM should consider the also the occupancy of the apartments and not just set the maintenance fee per owner. Have in mind that some owners rent out and others have larger families. It is difficult to find a suitable resolution of this matter, but we have found a legal solution on that for the condominiums we advise.

  • Darrin parrish 10 February 2013 Reply

    Could you please advise if the following is correct.
    Is the 30 day rule is not applicable if it has not been voted in at AGM of our apartment complex part of the Condominium Act ?
    Thanking you for your help,

    • Milen Hristov 20 February 2013 Reply

      Hi Darrin, which 30 days rule are referring to? Is it Art. 51 para 2 or para 3?

  • Megan James 31 May 2016 Reply

    Does Article 51 recognised in court. Can it be changed to suit management at an AGM. If there was no condominium law attached to complex for a number of years and complex ran very badly e.g very dirty,pools green,very bad reviews We never signed management contract they forged it and stole all our furniture can they look for M&M fees going back to 2010
    Regards Megan

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