|João Nuno Riquito
||Rui Filipe Oliveira
In line with the recent regulatory tendency to focus on
the real estate property market, the Macau government has
prepared new legislation to regulate the management of a
condominium's common areas.
Several government campaigns have been implemented to
enhance owners' participation in the management of common areas
of buildings or residential complexes. However, the task is
often complex and can lead to conflicts, particularly when it
involves residential complexes that include more than one
administration. The new law aims to clarify and improve the
overall functioning of the assembly and management bodies.
The proposed legislation also addresses the role of property
management entities in the management of the common areas. The
draft law contemplates that only the owners, the usufructuary
or the promissory purchasers can be members of the management
body. Third party entities can only be employed as service
providers, either to assist the management body or to provide
certain services. These services will be specified in the
condominium assembly's resolution.
Another significant aspect of the draft law is the express
stipulation that pre-existing condominium debts be assigned to
the purchasers of the units. This issue often divides the
courts. The new legislation intends to address it in
unequivocal terms: purchasers of a unit will become responsible
for the unpaid condominium fees provided, however, such debts
are registered with the land register prior to the registration
of the acquisition.
Publicity and legal certainty of certain issues relevant not
only to the owners, but also to third parties, are also
addressed. Examples include: depositing the resolutions that
appoint the management members with a public entity (the
housing bureau); or, posting the minutes of management board
meetings in visible locations.
In addition to arbitration, the draft law allows the
condominium regulation to include mandatory mediation to
resolve condominium conflicts.
Although it cannot be considered a substantial reform, the
proposed legislation introduces relevant changes to management
of common areas. It will require more commitment from both the
owners and property managers.
João Nuno Riquito and Rui Filipe