Q: How is the management of a complex regulated? What do I need to be aware of? [Condominium Act etc]
The Bulgarian Condominium Management Act (“CMA”) is a statute which regulates relations between owners in a development. The owners may have also approved a governing document which further fleshes out the way in which the running of the development is organised.
By law, the owners of units in a property development can use the common areas of the development and share in their management. Each owner has a right to enjoy his property without interference from the others.
According to art. 6 CMA, owners must also:
- not cause damage to other properties within the development and common areas;
- avoid causing more than minimal inconvenience to other owners or occupants;
- not tamper with any part of the development (whether buildings, shared areas, etc.) intended for general use;
- comply with the resolutions of the governing bodies of the development;
- cover the cost of repairs, reconstruction and renovation of the common parts, its facilities and equipment, and contribute to a fund for the "repair and improvement" of the development, in proportion to their share of the commonhold;
- bear the cost of the management and maintenance of common parts;
- comply with health and safety regulations and standards of hygiene;
- provide access to their own property or parts thereof, if necessary for the investigation of, design and planning of, or conduct of repairs, renovations etc, as above.
Typically, the General Assembly of Commonhold Owners chooses a Manager (which in larger developments may be a maintenance company co-owned by all unit owners or set up as a business), such Manager running the day-to-day affairs of the development.
Advising on an LCIA claim
Suppliers with less bargaining power sometimes accede to arbitration clauses which make bringing or defending a claim prohibitively expensive.
In such cases, it is especially important when acting for the potential claimant (and subject to a judgement on the overall viability of the claim), to offer a cost-effective solution to allow the claim to get off the ground. This may include assessing whether the arbitration clause is likely to be found effective or pathological, and whether it may be permissible and advisable to launch court proceedings instead (which can be more economical especially in their early phases).
It is also helpful to be able to rely on advice which is simultaneously excellent in relation to both the jurisdiction in which enforcement is likely to be sought (e.g., Bulgaria) and the jurisdiction whose governing law the parties have agreed to apply or which applies for another reason.
NBLO recently acted for a potential claimant in such a situation alongside the client's existing Bulgarian counsel to advise on the interplay of the arbitration rules of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and Bulgarian law and on the mechanics and prospects of a claim. We regularly and successfully collaborate with clients’ existing counsel to achieve the best results for such clients.
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