Find and compare maintenance issues

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Find and compare maintenance issues

Postby Admin » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:56 am

Hi all,

The present article is informative only. It relates to these Bulgarian property owners who have bought apartments in local holiday or residential complexes. It has been also related to owners who want to establish in the future maintenance relations about the common shares of their buildings and the facilities for common usage within their complexes, but who may experience various issues on the matter.
The maintenance practices for the last couple years involve huge differences in the annual maintenance fees, paid by owners. There are examples where even within the same complex various apartment owners are obliged to pay different rates of maintenance fees, non-equal to the owned by them built-up areas. So here you may compare and discuss rates of maintenance fees, the services offered against them, in order to clear your own view if you have been charged fairly, or been helping a developer to retire without knowing it.
Most of these apartment owners are aware that only once they have signed their Title Deeds for ownership and once their property has been entered in expoitation via Act 16 (although some desperate tryings by local developers to collect maintenances fees in advance) only then the question about maintenancing of the common parts of the building/complex occurs. Please read our article to get more information about the last steps in the building process in Bulgaria, and the steps of forming a General Meeting of the building, which meeting to organize the maintenance services within the building.
Every bulgarian conveyancer will assist you in transferring the deeds of a Bulgarian property to you, but it is likely to end their work after this event. Not every Bulgarian solicitor will take care also of the legal relations between you in your capacity of apartment owner, and the maintenance company, once the property has been transferred to you (i.e. to negotiate the amount of the maintenance fees offered by the developer). This is job covered by professional Bulgarian solicitors only to protect in full the interests of their clients. The owner of an apartment needs to know that the maintenance of the common parts of the building, where they own ideal shares and for which service almost each developer offers a contract for, has nothing to do with the maintenance or the management of their apartments, which could be a completely different service – read our article to get more information. Also it has nothing to do with the management of their apartments. Neither with management or maintenance of other building or units (for example, sauna or swimming pool for common use that are situated in different building).
Basically the need of concluding a maintenance contract occurs with the latest Act for management of the floor ownership of a building, where various regulations about the maintenance of the common parts apply, respectively may be chosen by the apartment owners. One of these options is to ignore the services offered by the developer, and to form a General Meeting which to take care of the maintenance of the common parts in the building. Contract us on for more information.
The practice of Bulgarian property lawyers shows that in many cases the lack of knowledge about the local legislation leads the foreing apartment owners to a dead end, where stays a developer who has already secured his interests with previously concluded maintenance contracts. The various apartment owners must realise also the fact that it is almost imposible to achieve the liability of a local the maintenance company, if they do not perform their obligations properly. The reasons for this are namely because many maintenance contracts have been signed without a clause for cancelation or a deadline, maintenance companies are being set-up to be empty corporate bodies; it is difficult to prove exact non-performance by them in court, where it has not been precisely detailed in advnace in their own contracts, etc.
Just like any other property investment contracts offered by various local developers, the maintenance contracts have been also designed to secure the developer/manager’s profit, but not to secure the owners’ legal and financial interests. Initially the maintenance contracts which the owners conclude should be related only to the common parts of the building – the stairs, the entrances, lobbies, guarding it, etc. Most of the buyers do not know it and without consulting with local lawyer, they allow many other subjects to be included in these contracts, on order to increase the annual maintenance fee, which usually only helps the seller to retire from the owners’ money. This is why many developers use to oblige the owners with long term contracts, to put a burden on their apartments via signing these contracts before local notaries, to oblige in this way each new buyer of the apartment, etc. It is also very often for local developers to vanish, once they are not able to collect the maintenance fees.
Please be aware that the legal instruments stipulated in the new Act for management of the floor ownership of a building could be very well used by the developers in order to secucure their profit, resp. not by the owners in securing their investments. This is why it is always advisable to hire a trusted and independent Bulgarian lawyer to examine and re-negotiate your maintenance contracts before signing and paying the fee – couple hundred Euro spent for Bulgarian independent legal advice on your maintenance contracts may prevent you and all your neighbors from paying lot more in annual maintenance fees, and securing these payments with your own apartment (surprise, suprrise).
What we have done previously has been to draw versions of maintenance contracts to protect in full and to secure the owners’ interests related to the proper (and cheap) maintenance of complexes, as well to deal also with performance of General Meeting of owners in residential buildings, in order to set-up the management of the building and the performance of the maintenance services in it. In result we have saved lots of headache to the owners and have removed the developer from collecting the trustfull owners’ money.
Here you can start your own topics and to discuss the issues you may have occurred once bought an apartment in Bulgaria; to compare maintenance rates you have been charged with, resp. the services you have been provided by the maintenance company; also to ask for opinion and to decide the best way in organizing effective and cheap maintenance of the building where you have bought an aparment in.

Bulgariandeals Team

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