Use of the common sections

The people often use the stairway landings as storage space for their old furniture and appliances. This is a disagreeable practice not only because of hygienic and aesthetic considerations. It is potentially endangering in case of fire, earthquake or other emergency requiring urgent evacuation of the people in the building. This is one of the reasons the Condominium Ownership Management Act (COMA) to forbid the use of the common sections as storage spaces. Articles 5 and 6 of COMA stipulate that it is an obligation of the owners “not to occupy the common areas of the building” they inhabit. Paragraph 11 obliges the neighbors to observe the sanitary and hygienic norms.

According to Article 6, Paragraph 15 of COMA, the owners are obliged “to use the common areas of the building in accordance with procedures set out in the condominium regulations”. Therefore, we advise the neighbors to include these obligations in the internal order regulations at the General assembly of the owners. Thus, the obligations voted for and protocoled will become an integral part of the revised internal order regulations of the building.

If, however, some neighbors do not observe the internal order regulations and continue to store old belongings in the common sections, article 57 of COMA sets out the procedure to deal with this problem. The ascertainment of the infringement is described in a memorandum drafted by the Management Council of the condominium. A copy of this memorandum is placed at the disposal of the municipal or district administration, and an act of infringement is issued by the respective authorities. The Mayor issues a penalty enactment. Article 55 of COMA stipulates the size of the penalty fee the perpetrator has to pay.

The procedure is heavy and involves unpleasant talks. They are better to avoid and settle the disagreements amicably between the neighbors. If, however, amicable settlement is not possible, it is important to know that the law protects the citizens. The professional manager can assist in the settlement of the dispute between the neighbors, and initiate the procedure envisages in COMA, if necessary.