Frequently asked questions Questions
First, I would advise all owners of independent objects to take out property insurance. The price is not high, about BGN 1-2/m2 for the year. It covers the damage caused both to your property and if you damage a neighboring one.
The roof is leaking! The first thing to do is to notify the house manager at the entrance. He, for his part, must make an inspection, determine the presence of a leak, contact companies performing this service, request offers for repairs, convene and hold a general meeting of the condominium (EC EU), at which to present the offers and the attendees to decide and approve the offer and contractor company. It is important to choose a company, not an individual! The guarantee of a complete repair of the roof according to REGULATION No. 2 of July 31, 2003 for minimum guarantee periods is 7 years. I also advise you to get all the necessary documents: an offer from the contractor, a contract between the condominium and the contractor, an invoice for the entire amount paid. The contract should list all MRT to be performed, deadlines for completion, cost of repair and how payment will be made, warranty period.
How to get all the neighbors to contribute money to the renovation? In the event that they do not wish to voluntarily pay their part of the amount, the law allows an Application to be submitted pursuant to Article 410 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. That is, to judge them. Do not submit this application alone! Hire a lawyer who specializes in "condominium"! The lawyer will ask you to provide him with: a protocol from the EU General Assembly, on which the decision to carry out the repair was made, the selected company and the method of distribution of the funds are entered. It will also ask for a quote from the contractor, a contract between the condominium and the contractor, and an invoice for the entire amount paid. Practice shows that this court procedure is not difficult and not slow, you just need to have all the documents!
By complying with the above, you prevent the contractor from treating your entrance incorrectly and not honoring the warranty. You don't allow neighbors to be dishonest and owe money at the entrance that you can't collect.
If drawing up the documents is difficult for you, contact a professional management company - the so-called "professional house managers", they perform this service without the entrance having a contract with them.
Practice shows that the presence of owners at the general assembly of condominiums (EC EU) is too small, about 30-40% of those with the right to vote. The reasons are most often employment, caring for young children and the elderly. Some owners do not want to deal with domestic violence, but also to enter into disputes between neighbors. When you're not in a meeting, you're giving a few people in your input the opportunity to make all-important decisions that may not be well thought out or even inadequate. For example: EU OS attendees may decide to paint the entrance fancy while ignoring that the roof is leaking and in need of repair.
The EU SC is the authority that makes all entry decisions. The condominium manager is only the executor of these decisions and has no right to make individual ones, except in an urgent case (leakage in common parts, unclogging with VOMA, etc.). In an individual conversation, a proposal can be made to carry out repairs and renovations in the common areas, the EU manager approves your proposal, but this does not give him the right to carry it out.
By attending the EU Board, you have the opportunity to express your opinion, make a proposal that the other owners will like, have a dialogue and the decisions that are made will benefit everyone.
The EU manager is not the only person who can make suggestions, request and submit offers for repairs. Every single owner, user and inhabitant should feel involved and empathetic with the problems of the building. Your property does not start at the front door of the apartment, but at the front door of the block!
If you discover that there is a leak in your apartment, you should contact the owner of the apartment above you and inform him about what happened. It is necessary to determine whether the leak is from a compromised pipe that is a common part (these are the vertical pipes for direct and return water) or a private problem (horizontal deviations that connect the sink, shower cabin, siphon, toilet bowl, joints between the tiles etc.)
Common area leak - in this case you report the problem to the house manager (condominium manager). He, in turn, with the help of a plumbing specialist, must locate the problem and fix it at the expense of the condominium. Vertical pipes for direct and return water are a common part.
ZUES art. 48 (5) For necessary repairs of common parts of the building, funds are allocated immediately with a decision of the management board (manager). The general meeting approves the incurred expenses, which are certified by payment documents.
All owners along this vertical must be ready to provide access to their apartments. The leak may not be from the apartment directly above the one where the problem occurred.
Many companies offer a thermography camera service. The camera can locate the compromised location contactlessly.
A leak that is a private problem (a leak from one apartment to another) – here the house manager cannot be of help to you, because he deals with and is responsible for the common areas of the entrance/building only. In this case, the repair is the responsibility of the owner of the private property that caused the leak. It often happens that he does not take action to remove it, despite the victim's repeated requests. I recommend that you contact a lawyer and through him file a claim in court to ask for compensation.
Property insurance is taken out personally by the owner and you prove that you are the owner of this independent object by signing the policy. If you have property insurance, you should contact your insurer as soon as you see a leak. A company representative will visit your home and assess the damage and then pay you for the repairs.
It is a common practice when the owner of a house with a yard provides a construction company with a part of the land for the construction of a building against compensation - one or more apartments, shops, offices, to retain the ownership of a larger part of this property. Once the building is built, it is managed under the Condominium Management Act. The property on which it is built can to be a common part, provided that all owners of independent objects are owners of the landed property. In this case, a decision on the way of using the property is taken by the general meeting of the condominium. For example, a decision can be made to separate the parking spaces, without them hindering the access to the building of the other owners, cars with a special mode, the maneuvering areas, if there are garages with an entrance from the yard, etc. A decision can be made to build playgrounds and gazebos.
The same decisions can be made if some of the owners of independent objects in the building are not the owners of the landed property (yard), but in this case, decisions about this property are made according to the provisions of the Law on Property Art. 32. The common property is used and managed according to the decision of the co-owners owning more than half of the common property.
The owner of a larger part of the land property (the yard) only has a greater weight of his voice when making a decision, because decisions are taken by voting according to the shares he owns from the yard. The fact that he is the owner of a larger part of the property does not give him the right to make a sole decision and determine the terms and conditions for the use of the undeveloped part. These owners should be aware that this property is no longer their property, but they still have the burden of paying tax on it.
If glazing is desired, we must first clarify whether it is a loggia, balcony or terrace.
The Spatial Planning Act defines the different types:
A "balcony" is an open usable area on a cantilevered structure projecting in front of the building's facade.
"Loggia" is a usable area, open from its outside and included in the total volume of the building.
"Terrace" is an open usable area located on premises, on columns or on the ground.
According to Article 151, Paragraph 1, Item 6 of the same law, a construction permit is not required for glazing balconies and loggias.
On the other hand, Article 6, Paragraph 1, Item 5 states: do not carry out repair activities in their independent object or part of it, which lead to a deterioration of the design indicators of the characteristics of construction products, changed/replaced and/or originally inserted, as well as/or activities to change premises, spaces or parts of them, intended for general use, do not violate the architectural appearance, load-bearing capacity, stability of the building structure, fire safety or safe use of the building;
A building permit is not required for a balcony and a loggia, but the consent of the neighbors is required.
In order to glaze a terrace, a design by a construction engineer and permission from the owners in the building, which is given at a general meeting, is required. And this decision is made by a majority of more than 50 people present at a general meeting of the condominium.
Documents are submitted to the Municipality with a request for a building permit.
Glazing means installing windows - metal, PVC, aluminum, and not building walls with bricks.
It would be unpleasant to have a family vacation interrupted by a call from the house manager or a neighbor because there is a leak in your building, and it is very likely that it starts in your apartment. You can avoid this unpleasant situation by doing a few things.
Turn off the faucet that supplies water to your apartment. In this way, you will eliminate the possibility of a soft connection breaking, a faucet dropping, a water heater leaking, etc. Turn off the electricity supply to the water heater and other appliances in the apartment.
In your absence from the home and from the city, as well as from the country, a leak from another device may appear, the return water pipe (sewer diversion) may be blocked, or another reason may appear for which you need to provide access to the site. I advise you to keep a key to the residence of a loved one, relative or friend who is in town and can respond immediately. Otherwise, you will need to interrupt your vacation and come back to secure access.
It would be even more unpleasant if you did not leave a contact phone number for the house manager! In such an emergency, he has the right to call 112, that he is not in touch with you, to request the presence of law enforcement officials, to use the services of a locksmith to forcibly open the apartment in order to turn off the water or turn off current. A protocol is drawn up for the actions performed, which is signed by the house manager and two witnesses. The apartment is sealed and the new keys are kept by the house manager.
In order for your vacation to be peaceful, give your phone number to the house manager, leave a key to the apartment with a trusted person and turn off the electricity and water in it.
In our busy everyday life, we don't have the opportunity to spend time on the general affairs in the entrance. And we want to spend free time with our loved ones and family. We don't need to do it since companies offer a professional housekeeper service.
Research Professional Home Managers (Professional Management Societies) first! Who are the companies that offer this service, how long have they been on the market - what experience and experience do they have? The long tenure and the accumulated experience speak of an adequate, timely and honorable attitude towards its customers.
Read the opinions about them on social networks and the Internet. Find a few of them, have a personal conversation with a representative and request a quote for the services offered. Don't be fooled by the price! Quality has a price.
Ask about staffing. Anyone who has been a house manager in their entrance knows that one person cannot simultaneously handle the organizational part, the collection of funds, communication with suppliers (a company for monthly subscription service of the elevator facility, a cleaning company, etc.), emergency signals on one input, let alone several dozen or hundreds.
Once you have personal impressions and offers, call a general meeting to introduce your other neighbors as well.
The selection of a professional house manager is carried out by decision of the general assembly of the condominium and consent to conclude a contract of 67% by the owners of common parts.
And your neighbors can get personal impressions of the company by inviting its representative to the general meeting.
The apartments we live in are often small and we don't have enough space to store things we rarely use. There are common rooms in the entrance that can be used for temporary storage.
DO NOT store flammable and dangerous substances!
Often, residents of the building store belongings on the staircase and the landings at the entrance. Others block off part of the common corridor and connect it to their apartment. To partition, you need the consent of all floor owners. In case of violations, a sanction may also be imposed by the "Fire Safety and Protection of the Population" service, because passage through the common areas that serve as access to the apartments is prevented.
In addition, they undoubtedly interfere with the other residents of the building: it is difficult to pass by the belongings, the impossibility of moving furniture and appliances, dust and cobwebs on them, the cleaning of which is difficult, even impossible.
As for mezzanine rooms, in order to use such a room for personal needs, you must have the permission of the condominium manager and/or the general meeting. The general meeting can determine compensation for the use of the common part. It is proper that the proceeds from the use of common parts be kept in the "Repair and Renewal" fund and spent for these needs.
Autumn has begun and winter is coming. Again, we need to think about the common areas of the building.
First we need to pay attention to the roof. Inspect the sub-roof space and see if there are any leaks after the autumn rains. If such are available, it is appropriate to immediately take the necessary measures to repair the problem areas. This is the last moment before winter when we can repair the roof.
We also need to inspect gutters and downspouts! After leaf fall in the autumn season, it is quite likely that they are clogged with leaves and small twigs. This creates a danger of gutters overflowing and downspouts freezing and bursting. The service is performed by a mountaineer and will reach deep into the owners' pocket.
A snow removal schedule must also be prepared. The schedule is prepared and kept by the house manager and in case of heavy snowfall it is executed. It is necessary to excavate paths around the building for passers-by and to access the entrance.
For an 80 m2 apartment, you can take out a policy for both BGN 50 and BGN 150 or more - depending on the selected limits and covered risks.
One of the most common insurance events is a plumbing accident. The problem can arise from water, sewer, heating or air conditioning pipes, or even from a failure in the gasket of a soft connection. Most insurers do not carry cover for damage from the risk of forgotten open stopcocks and taps, but there are some that do. The costs of uncovering and establishing the problem are also covered, incl. the use of a thermal camera.
It often happens that a plumbing emergency in one apartment causes damage to several apartments below. In such a case, it is good that the policy has "General Civil Liability" coverage. Thus, the insurer will indemnify the damages not only in your apartment, but also in the apartments of your neighbors. This risk is particularly important in the event of a fire, which is also a common occurrence. In the event of a fire, the damage to the neighbor's house can be significant, and the neighbor has the right to file a claim against you for the damages.
The question often arises whether we can insure the common areas in a building. Insurers who offer separate insurance for this without you insuring your apartment are more of an exception. There are insurers that expressly exclude damage to common parts in their general terms and conditions.
The more common practice is to carry Common Areas cover on your Apartment Property insurance, covering common area damage up to the amount you own. In theory this means that if all the properties in a condominium are insured, in case of damage to the common areas, they will be compensated on 100%
When taking out a policy, pay attention to whether the company you have chosen covers damage to garages, basements or the ceiling. Quite often, similar premises are refined and actively used by the insured, but insurers exclude them in their general terms and conditions.
Last but not least, when taking out a policy, pay attention to whether the policy is taken out without underinsurance. In view of the inflationary processes, in the last few months, a number of companies have increased the minimum sums insured per square number. This means that with some companies, if you insure your property at too low a sum insured, you may receive a lower than expected insurance compensation in case of damage.
In our everyday life, we have heard: The neighbor flooded me! Flooding can be the result of a broken soft connection, a leak from a water meter or pipe feeding the site, a siphon and many others.
First you need to tell the neighbor that he caused a leak, flooded your apartment and the cause is established. The cause of the flood is from the neighbor's independent property and the repair is at his expense. So far so good, but the damage to your site is a fact and it will cost you dearly to fix it.
If you have taken out property insurance, you will claim compensation from the insurer. In the event that you do not have one, you can try to settle the relationship voluntarily, as a company or individual costs the necessary repairs and request that this be paid by the owner of the apartment that caused the damage. If these relations cannot be resolved between the two parties, you may seek your rights in court and it is a matter of civil dispute. For this purpose, you should hire a lawyer, a specialist in this field, and be aware that you will incur additional costs – for securing evidence and valuation, court fee 4% of the value of the claim, attorney's fees.
We are all horrified by what is happening in Turkey, Syria, Romania, Croatia. The earthquakes claimed many lives and left many people without homes and jobs. We ask ourselves the questions: What would happen if there was a similar earthquake with the epicenter Plovdiv? Will buildings withstand a large-magnitude earthquake?
Are there buildings that are dangerous and which ones are they?
There are buildings in which one or several owners of independent objects have decided on their own, without a project or consultation with a constructor, to remove a load-bearing wall in their apartment or make a door opening. It is extremely dangerous when this is done in apartments on the first floors.
If you are the owner of an independent object in a building in condominium mode and you suspect that your neighbor has made a redevelopment, removing a load-bearing wall, you can contact the "Territory Development" Directorate of the relevant municipality. The directorate will carry out an on-site inspection and, in the event of a violation, will draw up a protocol with a prescription, which must be fulfilled within the deadlines set for this.
When establishing a removed load-bearing wall, it will not be easy to restore. First, you will need a design by a construction engineer, agreed with the Municipality. And the implementation - by an authorized company that will follow the designer's project.
If you want to make a change in your home, it is advisable to consult with a specialist, so that we are safe and protected for our health, the health of our relatives and neighbors.
Neat condominiums are not just in the movies!
Don't leave your condominium without a manager. Instead, choose a qualified team of professional house managers with time-proven expertise, experience and motivation who will be of maximum benefit to their clients.