Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 October, 2023 at 2:49 pm by Andre Camilleri
The government on Wednesday announced plans to update the Condominium Act to reflect changes that have taken place in the last decades.
Planning Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi and Justice Minister Jonathan Attard on Thursday launched a public consultation process which is to lead to changes to the law, last amended in 2001.
The Condominium Act together with Chapter 16 of the Civil Code, is considered as the main law governing common parts within buildings. The Condominium Act, among other things, states that an administrator must be appointed when there are more than three apartments in the same building.
In recent years there has been a sharp increase in the number of residents in Malta who live in residences that are accessible from common spaces whose maintenance responsibility is shared equally between the owners of the various apartments within the building.
In light of the urban development that Malta is going through, the government feels wants that the legal and regulatory structures should be amended to reflect these new realities, the ministers said.
The main legislative changes that the Government is proposing in the Condominium Act are:
i] The establishment of a Regulator of Condominiums to observe the necessary standards that come into force in the sector, together with their continuous development in the interest of the resident and whoever manages the condominiums. The introduction of a designated “Condominium Regulator” is planned, with functions among others to keep a Register of duly qualified Administrators.
ii) The establishment of a new Tribunal for Condominium Affairs which will be made up of legal and technical professionals to ensure solutions for any disputes.
iii) Co-owners’ Association without actionable capital, which is to be constituted and given legal personality led by the Administrator together with a committee of representatives of the co-owners / condominiums elected every year by the General Meeting of the Condominiums. Additionally, the government is also proposing a new article, which is to be added to the Condominium Act, to give legal personality to the Association. The same legal person can be created by a contract or statute that includes the rules of the Condominium.
iv) The Administrator’s Office is to continue playing an important role in the conservation and management of the condominium. The amendments will ensure that an individual and/or professional corporate service provider is competent to perform the functions of an Administrator and has no legal and/or criminal cases that would prevent them from performing their role.
The Condominium Act will be amended to distinguish between a company or individual that provides the service of Administrator on a professional basis and a co-owner who is elected to act as Administrator on a non-professional basis.
A Register of Condominium Administrators shall also be established under the responsibility of the Regulator.
v) Mandatory coverage through Professional Insurance for Administrators and property insurance for common parties.