Anyone who’s had dealings with the Jointly-Owned Buildings Law will agree that it’s in dire need of revision. I get as many complaints and queries about this particular law (two this morning) as I get about Title Deeds.
It seems that, at long last, the law is about to change. A draft law for the management and operation of jointly-owned buildings has been prepared by the Department of Lands and Surveys and the Commissioner for Legislation.
Draft Jointly-Owned Buildings Law
The draft law aims to solve a host of serious issues with the current law including the lack of management committees, non-payment of communal fees, insurance and partial or total destruction of the building. Its purpose is to provide management committees with the flexibility to carry out its obligations, to ensure that unit owners meet their obligations and that properties are properly maintained.
A management committee or owner who fails to comply with any obligation under the proposed law or regulations is subject to a fine of up to €3,000.00.
New Service to oversee compliance
A separate service will be established responsible for overseeing compliance with the law. The role of the Department of Lands and Surveys will be limited to issues relating to the occupation and registration of jointly-owned buildings.
This new service will be responsible for registering jointly-owned buildings, the registration of management committees with the Service and maintaining a register of the buildings and their management committees.
In addition to jointly-owned buildings that have been registered, the law will apply to all jointly-owned buildings that have been issued with a building permit, division and approval certificate (or a certificate of unauthorised works).
The draft law empowers management committee to claim expenses that are reasonably necessary for maintaining and operating the common areas of the building for which owners have not paid.