A condominium is a type of co-ownership in which each owner holds absolute individual ownership of a unit based on a legal description of the unit’s airspace. In addition, the owner has an undivided interest in the ownership of the common elements jointly with the other condo owners.
Therefore, a condominium is a divided co-ownership, meaning that each unit is independent of the others and has its cadastre map. Each condominium owner pays a fee to support the maintenance of the common areas. A condominium (homeowners) association, HOA, will make decisions about the expenditures for repairs and handle administrative work to manage the complex’s common areas.
The CR Congress, “Asamblea Legislativa,” approved a law that modifies section 27 in the “Ley Reguladora de la Propiedad en Condominio.” Law 10229 was published in La Gaceta on June 28, 2022.
Worth mentioning are some key concepts about the voting system in condominiums. Section 27 of the condo law establishes the percentage required for voting and approval at the HOA meetings. Each condo unit or lot has a value assigned, usually based on the footprint, per the registered condominium declaration before the National Registry, known as “valor porcentual.” That percentage represents the owners’ voting rights in the HOA. Thus, even if the condominium units look similar, they do not necessarily have the same voting percentage.
It is essential to understand that the condo decisions required to gather a specific voting percentage in the HOA, such as a unanimous, a simple majority (51%), or a qualified majority (⅔ of the condo complex).
The new legislation modifies section 27 of law 7933 as follows:
- Reduces the voting percentage required at the HOA to approve and vary the proportional area of the subsidiaries concerning the total area of the condominium or the size of the common areas from a unanimous approval to ⅔ (two thirds) approval.
However, it specified that if green areas or parks from the common areas are going to be reduced or eliminated, this decision needs unanimous approval from the HOA
- Reduces the votes needed to vary the clauses of the condo declaration, its bylaws, and CC&Rs, from a unanimous approval to ⅔ (two thirds) approval.
Also, it specified that if green areas or parks from the common areas are going to be reduced or eliminated, this decision needs unanimous approval from the HOA.
HOA meeting every year
Keep in mind that every year, unless otherwise indicated in the CC&Rs, there should be an HOA meeting to vote and approve relevant matters for the complex, such as the annual budget, appointment or renewal of the HOA administrator, special assessments, etc.
The HOA administrator shall notify condo owners of the proposed agenda, including the matters to be discussed and voted on.
Suppose a CR corporation owns the condo unit. In that case, the person attending the HOA meeting must bring his current ID and a legal certification (personeria juridica) confirming their legal capacity and power to vote on behalf of the corporation.
The personeria juridica must be current, issued either by the National Registry or by a CR Notary Public with all the legal stamps and seals.
If an owner is not attending the HOA meeting, they may appoint a person to be present with a power of attorney (special POA) or full POA, complying with CR law, to vote on the owners’ behalf.
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