Norton & Mackenzie – Vilamoura – Algarve – Portugal

Property Management & Property Rentals

Bureaucracy

Information for property owners regarding Portuguese Bureaucracy

If you own in a condominium and are worried about the way it is run please be aware that this is subject to strict laws in Portugal deliberately to protect you. Below is an example of the sort of contract you should be working under.

CONDOMINIUM REGULATIONS – applicable to all owners and who ever administers the condominium

ARTICLE 1

Defines the address

ARTICLE 2

Defines how the properties are divided up

ARTICLE 3

This regulation and the respective annexed documents will regulate the use of the common spaces of the building described above and will define the rights and duties of the joint owners relative to the same.

  1. The regulation applies as well to future joint owners, it being necessary to reproduce it in full in any contract of purchase and sale.

ARTICLE 4

All owners and renters are obliged to abide by the regulation as it applies to them.

RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF JOINT OWNERS

ARTICLE 5

Joint owners have the right to use exclusively their portion and to utilize, in common, the existing common areas, equipment and services, under the terms of the present regulation, the constitutive title of horizontal properties and the law.

ARTICLE 6

Besides the limitations imposed by the constitutive title, the joint owners cannot:

a) practise any acts which are prejudicial to or make difficult the utilization of the remaining

portions and/or the common areas;

b)  impair, whether by lack of repair or by exterior alterations, the architectural line, the aesthetic make-up or the safety of the building;

c)  use the portion for any activity offensive to customary behaviour;

d)  use the portion for anything other than what is attributed to it by the constitutive title;

e)  occupy, in any way, the common areas, except if the constitutive title foresees it or the joint owners’ committee decides to the contrary, by unanimous vote;

f)  disrespect, in the use of their portion, the legal provision for hygiene and salubrity and/or its reasonable requirements;

g)  emit sounds, vibrations, odours or smoke that, by their nature or intensity, can degrade the well- being of the remaining joint owners or put at risk their security;

h)  disrespect the decisions that have been legally taken by the joint owners’ committee;

i)  practice any acts which, in any way, may harm the condominium or the other joint owners.

ARTICLE 7

The obligations of the joint owners are:

a)  to pay the condominium fee annually approved by the joint owners’ committee, within the determined time period;

b)  to maintain their portion and equipment in good repair, good order and cleanliness;

c)  to consent to the execution of works and repairs necessary to the maintenance of the condominium, as well as to effect works in their autonomous portion whenever the integrity and safety of the remaining joint owners are at risk;

d)  to effect the payment of all expenses which, by force of this regulation, by deliberation of the joint owners’ committee or by legal imposition are carried out and are of their responsibility;

e)  to permit the administration to visit or inspect their portion;

f)  to inform the administration, in writing, as regards their habitual residence, if it differs from that described in Article 1.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE CONDOMINIUM

ARTICLE 8

  1. The administration of the condominium is the responsibility of the Administrator(s) and the joint owners’ committee.
  2. The Administrator(s) will be designated by one of the following ways:

a)  election, by a majority, by the joint owners’ committee;

b)  by nomination by the court, at the request of any of the joint owners;

c)  by other means agreed upon, unanimously, by the joint owners’ committee.

  1. Unless decided otherwise by the joint owners’ committee, the mandate of the administration will run for one year, renewable for the same period.
  2. The Administrator remains in office until a successor is designated by the terms of No. 2 of the present Article.
  3. In the absence or impediment of the Administrator, his/her functions will be discharged by the joint owner of the portion with the greatest permillage/percentage.

ARTICLE 9

  1. The Administrator has the following duties, among others that may be stipulated by the joint owners’ committee:

a)  to convoke the joint owners’ committee;

b)  to prepare the budget of revenue and income relative to each year;

c)  to verify the existence of fire insurance, propose to the committee the amount of insured capital and maintain the remaining insurance with respect to the condominium;

d)  to collect the income and effect the payment of common expenses;

e)  to claim from the joint owners their share of the approved expenses;

f)  to deal with the documentation relative to the condominium in government agencies or other

official organs;

g)  to regulate the use of the common objects and rendering of services of common interest;

h)  to execute the deliberations of the committee;

i)  to represent the joint owners to the administrative authorities;

j)  to intercede on behalf of the joint owners in court actions, whether against any of the joint owners, or third parties, within the scope of his/her duties or when authorized by the committee;

k)  to ensure the strict execution of this regulation and of the legal and administrative provisions relative to the condominium;

l)  in the execution of paragraph g), to hire, suspend and dismiss staff responsible for the services of common utility; to supervise and coordinate the work of these people; and control all the services and work of third parties with respect to the condominium;

m)  to render accounts to the committee;

n)  to turn in, at the end of his/her mandate, all documentation and bank or treasury balances to the person taking over;

o)  to prepare the record of the condominium’s bills for the approval of the committee, and to keep the respective documents, as well as all other documents having to do with the condominium;

p)  to set up the condominium savings account;

q)  to post, in a visible location, the rules with respect to the safety of the building, namely those having to do with the utilization of equipment of common usage.

  1. Joint owners dissatisfied with any acts of the Administrator can appeal to the joint owners’ committee in writing and in the established form, within twenty days of knowledge of the referred acts. To that end, the appealing joint owners must convoke the joint owners’ committee within this time limit.

ARTICLE 10

  1. The joint owners’ committee is comprised of all the owners of the autonomous partitions which make up the building.
  2. The joint owners can be represented by a proxy.
  3. Unless otherwise decided by a unanimous decision, the committee will meet during the first fortnight of January, by means of a convocation by the administrator, for the discussion and approval of the accounts of the previous year and the approval of the budget for the current year.
  4. The committee will also meet, extraordinarily, when it is convoked by the Administrator or by a joint owner whose portion represents at least a quarter of the total value of the building or by joint owners dissatisfied with the Administrator and wishing to appeal to the committee.
  5. Convocations are made by registered letter with notice of receipt, sent to all joint owners with at least 10 day’s notice. The date, time and location of the meeting as well as the subjects to be covered must be indicated. Convocation will also be valid if a convocatory notice is given to joint owners and a record kept of its date and receipt in a protocol book.

ARTICLE 11

  1. If the number of joint owners needed to make a quorum does not appear and if another date has not been set in the convocation, a new meeting will take place a week later at the same time and location. In this case, the committee can deliberate by a majority of the votes of the joint owners present, as long as they represent at least a quarter of the total value of the building.
  2. The deliberations in need of approval by unanimous vote can be dealt with by unanimity of the joint owners present at the meeting, as long as these represent at least two-thirds of the total value of the building and on the condition that the absent joint owners approve the decisions made, under the following terms:

a)  the deliberations must be communicated to all absent joint owners by registered letter with notice of receipt, within 30 days;

b)  the joint owners have 90 days, after receipt of the letter referred to in the previous paragraph, to communicate to the joint owners’ committee in writing their agreement or disagreement;

c)  silence on the part of the absent joint owners, after the referred time period, will be taken as approval of the deliberations.

DISBURSEMENTS OF THE CONDOMINIUM

ARTICLE 12

The disbursements effected to guarantee the normal functioning and maintenance of the common areas will be borne by the joint owners, through the periodic payment of a fee, according to respective permillage.

ARTICLE 13

The annual budget will include available sums destined for the conservation of the condominium, and will integrate a fund, designated the Common Reserve Fund.

ARTICLE 14

  1. The purpose of the Common Reserve Fund is to cover the expenses rising from repairs or improvements made to the condominium.
  2. Each joint owner will contribute to the Common Reserve Fund 10% of their share (the committee being able to fix superior amounts, if necessary) for the remaining expenses of the condominium.
  3. The Common Reserve Fund will be deposited in a condominium savings account.

4. The Fund will be activated by the administrator according to the deliberations of the committee or by joint owners authorized to do so by the committee.

VOTING

ARTICLE 15

Each joint owner has as many votes in the committee as whole units which correspond to the percentage or permillage of his/her portion.

ARTICLE 16

The majority required, in accordance with the matters subject to vote, is as follows:

a)  unanimity: alteration to the constitutive title; approval of the regulation; reconstruction of the building, in case of destruction superior to three-quarters of its total value; acts of the disposal

of the common areas of the building;

b)  two-thirds of the total value of the building: work which constitutes innovations; alteration of

the way in which the expenses of the building are divided;

c)  simple majority of the total value of the building: all other deliberations.

ARTICLE 17

Disputes between joint owners or between joint owners and the administration will, whenever possible, be submitted to arbitration.

RESPONSIBILITY AND PENALTIES

ARTICLE 18

  1. The joint owner who, directly or indirectly, violates the dispositions of this regulation will be responsible for losses and damages incurred.
  2. Joint owners will be held responsible for damages caused by any persons in their employ.

ARTICLE 19

  1. The non fulfilment of the rule in paragraphs a) and d) of Article 7, for periods of more than 30 days, will result in the payment of a fine in the value equal to the monthly condominium fee.
  2. If the condominium fee is not paid within 90 days, the administration will take actions necessary for the compulsory collection of the fee, namely taking judicial action against the joint owner in arrears.
  3. the non fulfilment of the remaining rules of this regulation, as well as decisions by the administration, will result in the infringer indemnifying the remaining joint owners for damages suffered, in an amount to be stipulated by the condominium committee, without prejudicing the eventual civil responsibilities which may result from the act.
  4. The amounts paid under the terms of this article will revert to the Common Reserve Fund, as income.

FINAL RULES

ARTICLE 20

  1. Fire insurance is obligatory for the autonomous portions as well as for the common areas.
  2. The insurance must be taken out by the joint owners.
  1. When this is not done, within the time limit and in the amount fixed by the committee, it falls to the Administrator to take out the insurance and, in this case, to be fully reimbursed for the premium paid.
  2. Fire insurance must be updated each year, it being the responsibility of the committee to determine the amount.
  3. If the committee does not approve the updated amount within 45 days before the annual premium update, the administrator must do so, in accordance with the index published trimestrally by the Insurance Institute of Portugal.

ARTICLE 21

  1. The joint owner who rents his/her portion must include in the respective contract, the obligation of the tenant to submit to the rules of the constitutive title, to the present regulation and to any alterations which come to be made.
  2. The rental of any portion must be made known to the administration, by registered letter, reporting the identity of the tenant.
  3. The rule in No.1 applies, with any necessary alterations, to the transfer of ownership by any form, of the portion.

ARTICLE 22

Any cases omitted from the present regulation will be governed by the rules applied by the Civil Code and Law-Decrees 268/94 and 269/94, both from 25 October.

ARTICLE 23

  1. The present regulation comes into force after its approval by the joint owners’ committee.
  2. Each joint owner will receive a copy of the regulation, the original remaining in the possession of the Administrator.
  3. The procedure described in 1 and 2 applies to any alteration which is introduced into the text of this regulation.

NOTES ABOUT THE REGULATIONS

ARTICLE 2:

In cases where the building is composed of divisions destined for commerce and habitation, it is useful to differentiate between them. In buildings where the permilage is not identical in all the portions, it is advisable to create a table in which they are all identified and the respective value is attributed. This table will, among other things, facilitate the counting of votes during condominium assembly meetings.

ARTICLE 5:

Legally, each joint owner owns a share of the common property corresponding to the permilage or percentage of his/her portion. This does not prevent the joint owner from using the common property in its totality, as long as it is not used in any way contrary to that stipulated by law and the regulation and does not deprive the other joint owners of its use.

ARTICLE 6:

a)  (b) It is advisable to specify those things considered to be prejudicial to the aesthetic or architectural make-up of the building. For example, the installation on balconies of aluminium frames, exterior air conditioning units or parabolic antennas…

b)  Among other possibilities, attention is called to cases where dripping laundry is hung out to dry, without previously advising the joint owners on floors below; and cases where water or detritus is disposed of in areas which affect the neighbours.

ARTICLE 7

a)  For reasons of convenience, a trimestral pre-payment scheme is advisable, to be paid either at the administrator’s home or at a location to be indicated. Another possibility would be bank transfer on the same basis to the condominium account.

b)  (e) This right of the administration and respective obligation of the joint owner, is subject to determined limits, namely: only in the case of the suspected existence of facts that could cause damage to the remaining joint owners and the condominium in general (the carrying out of works which could affect the structure of the condominium or a neighbour’s portion, for example).

ARTICLE 8.2 (c):

DECO suggests the adoption of the following formula: automatic nomination, in the first meeting of the year, on a rotating basis, starting with the first portion mentioned in the constitutive title, to be succeeded by the remaining joint owners by alphabetical order of the denomination of the portions.

ARTICLE 12:

The condominium fee, which results from the annual approved budget, should cover the expenses of the common parts (including cleaning and/or vigilance) and include the Common Reserve Fund used for general repairs to the building.

ARTICLE 13:

The creation of a fund for extra expenses is advisable. For example, to cover the cost of an eventual court action brought about by the committee.

ARTICLE 15:

Example: with permilage, if the portion corresponds to 30 per mil of the total of the building, the owner has 30 votes in the assembly; with percentage, if the portion corresponds to 9 percent of the total of the building, the owner has 9 votes.

ARTICLE 16:

The joint owners can, by unanimous deliberation of the assembly, define other situations where a unanimous vote would be necessary, as long as this does not go against the law.

ARTICLE 19.3:

The amount of the applied penalties each year cannot exceed a quarter part of the collectible income of the portion of the infractor. Normally, the value of the collectible income of the portion can be checked in the ‘Caderneta Predial’.

ARTICLE 23:

If a unanimous vote for the Condominium Regulation (this document) is not possible due to the absence of any joint owners, this can be approved by a majority. In this case, the regulation will come into force, provisionally, until its confirmation by all joint owners or, alternatively, until the approval of another regulation.

These Condominium Regulations and Notes are translated from “Guia do Condomino” produced by DECO (Portugese Consumer Association), courtesy of AFPOP and should be used as a guide only.

Norton  & Mackenzie cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracy.

If you have worries regarding your condominium it is strongly recommended that you seek professional advice from an established Company such as Loja do Condominio or equivalent.

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