Condominium Law: How It Works and What You Need to Know

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Condominium Law

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Condominiums are environments that suggest a safe and healthy coexistence for their residents. For condominium life to work, there must be rules that contribute to the well-being of everyone, especially in common spaces. That’s why the Condominium Law exists. Do you know her?

The rules that govern a condominium exist so that the rights and duties of all unit owners are guaranteed. Therefore, the Condominium Law is mandatory and must be followed, after all, living together means living in the same space, having respect and responsibility.

In addition to the Condominium Law, there are other norms, legislation and rules that also aim at the administration of condominiums and a good experience in the environments. However, the main one is the Civil Code.

Therefore, knowing the rules and laws that govern condominiums is as important as paying the condominium fee.

Condominium law

Condominium with swimming pool. The Condominium Law guarantees important rights and duties for unit owners.

Law No. 4,591 / 64, called the condominium law, was established in 1964 and deals with issues relating to property rights, such as land registry, condominium expenses and other related questions about the administration of the condominium.

This means that the law deals with the condominium statute, that is, the set of rules that involve the condominium, such as expenses, use of the building, as well as questions about insurance, fire, demolition and mandatory reconstruction. In addition, it also deals with matters related to the administration of the condominium and the General Meeting.

However, nowadays, the Condominium Law is no longer the main set of rules, as most of the articles have been modified and replaced. So, currently, the main law is Law nº 10.406/02, the new Civil Code, which proposes new legislation.

Thus, the Condominium Law became secondary, being valid only for cases that the Civil Code cannot resolve.

Civil Code

Judge's hammer, representing Civil Code. The Civil Code deals with the rights and duties of administrators and joint owners.

The new Civil Code enacted in 2002, which entered into force on January 11, 2003, is a law that governs from the assets, rights, and duties, to the legal facts of the country. And, of course, it also deals with the rights and duties of administrators and joint owners.

Thus, the Code addresses the essential issues involving condominiums, providing fundamental information on the rules, expenses, the general meeting, sanctions, the supervisory board, default, the management of the trustee, as well as his election, and also the administration, definition and registration of the condominium.

A recurring complaint in condominiums, for example, is noise. The Civil Code addresses this issue in Article 1336. The unit owner’s duties are: […] IV – give its parts the same destination as the building, and not use them in a way harmful to the peace, health and safety of the owners, or to good manners. So, regardless of whether the bylaws omit noise-related issues, the Civil Code has a law to address this situation.

Based on this legislation, the administrators responsible for managing each condominium will be instructed to create other regulations with their own rules and specific attributions, through the Assemblies, the Internal Regulations or the Condominium Convention, for example.

Thus, the Civil Code works as an instrument to guide an organized administration and a healthy and pleasant coexistence for all people who live in residential condominiums.

Condominium convention

Garden of a condominium. The Condominium Convention is registered at the Real Estate Registry Office.

Although the Civil Code or the Condominium Law manages the rights and duties of unit owners, trustees and employees, there are other details that are not found in general laws. Then, local rules are established for each condominium.

For this reason, the Condominium Convention is registered at the Real Estate Registry Office and aims to govern questions about the structure of the condominium, in addition to providing for sanctions, rights and duties of the unit owners. It is a kind of contract, but it also has a statutory nature.

The document provides information on warnings, rules, deadlines or fines, as well as indicating ways of using services and administration, as well as providing information on holding meetings.

However, it is essential that internal determinations comply with laws, regardless of the level, whether municipal, federal or state.

Bylaws 

Paper and pen, next to a coffee on the table. The bylaws bring important questions about the common areas of a condominium.

In order to clarify and delimit everyday issues related to the use of common areas, the main prohibitions and the conduct of people who frequent and live in the condominium, such as residents and employees, the Internal Regulation is adopted in order to encourage good coexistence.

Through it, it is possible to find out about the care with the common areas of the condominium, about the prohibitions, as well as about the permission to have pets, for example. 

Prepared by the unit owners themselves, it gathers resolutions that can only be approved by means of a vote, which must be made during an assembly created precisely to govern issues related to daily life in the condominium.

The most appropriate is to make a registry of what was deliberated and agreed upon by everyone, even if it is not mandatory. In addition, it is necessary that the Internal Regulation is part of the Condominium Convention, which, in turn, is at a higher level, as it is based on the rules of the Civil Code.

Assemblies

People gathered in a meeting. Assemblies are essential for discussing important collective issues.

The manager is responsible for calling the meetings in a condominium. They are created by the need of each location, service or issue to be resolved.

As long as the legislation is not violated, any determination that is not in the Condominium Law or the Civil Code can and must be debated at the meetings. After all, it is through them that condominium issues are (and should be) discussed democratically.

Therefore, it is mandatory that at least one assembly take place per year. The objective is to bring questions and solutions so that everyone can reach an agreement on topics such as accountability, the election of trustees and counselors, budgets, among others.

Thus, in order to guarantee their rights and those of all other unit owners, it is very important to know the rules, participate in the assemblies and fulfill the duties to maintain a safe and healthy coexistence for all.