Amendments to the Condominium Ownership Management Act aim at easier decision-making and more efficient management
At the end of September, amendments to the Condominium Ownership Management Act were promulgated, which provide for a number of changes in the current model of condominium management.
Some of the more important novelties are:
Obligation to participate in the General Meeting (GM)
An obligation is introduced for owners, users and occupants of a building in a condominium ownership regime to participate in the general meeting, either in person or by proxy. Owners shall be liable for the obligations of the condominium in accordance with their ownership of undivided shares.
The General Meeting can now also be held online via videoconference, ensuring the verification of the identity of the persons participating. Voting for decisions may also be by absentee ballot within 7 days of the meeting. For this purpose, the owner must submit to the manager of the condominium a declaration signed by hand or by electronic signature.
Quorum for GM
The quorum for holding the General Meeting is reduced as it is necessary for the owners of at least 51% of the undivided shares of the common areas of the condominium to be present in person or through representatives (instead of the current 67/100). There are also a few exceptions, such as decisions to grant a right of use or a right of construction and to change the use of the common areas of the building (the majority is 100/100), to remove an owner or user from the building (a majority of not less than 75/100), to incur useful expenses and to obtain credits (a majority of 75/100), etc.
If a quorum is not present, the meeting shall be adjourned for one hour and shall be deemed to have been validly held if not less than 26 per cent of the undivided shares of the common areas of the building are represented. An exception is provided where one person owns more than 51 per cent of the undivided shares of the common areas of the condominium, the quorum required is 75 per cent of the undivided shares of the common areas.
The condominium ownership register, in addition to paper records, may also be maintained electronically in the form of an electronic document.
Unified information system for professional building managers
The professional management is regulated and a unified information system is created at the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, which unites the register of professional condominium managers and the register of condominium ownership. The requirement is introduced that the persons managing and maintaining the condominiums must be traders within the meaning of the Commercial Act, with the exception of natural persons-traders who cannot be professional managers. Failure to register will be sanctioned with a fine of up to BGN 1,000.
Management and maintenance costs
The costs related to the management and maintenance of the common areas are divided into two separate costs - management costs and maintenance costs. The exemption from these charges for persons residing in the condominium for up to 30 days in a calendar year is removed and they will now pay the management and maintenance costs at the rate set for an owner. Three cost allocation options are introduced:
Equally according to the number of owners, users and occupants;
According to the percent of a unit's undivided shares of the common areas of the building;
Equally per self-contained unit.
Most of the changes are effective from 29.09.2023 and are related to the reforms envisaged in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.