So, you've finally decided to go ahead and buy that nice flat in Brazil. As the proud owner of the apartment you will also become an owner/member of the condominium association and the owner of a proportional fraction of the common areas and the land on which the building(s) is located.
You will acquire rights as well as responsibilities. In order to fully enjoy your property and to be able to "stand your ground" in case of virtually inevitable misunderstandings and conflicts with your neighbors and the condo administration, it is important to understand the basics of the Brazilian Condominium Law and the logistics behind condominium inner-workings.
Condominium is usually established by the act of the incorporation by the initial unit owners and involves, amongst standard registration procedures establishment of the Convenção de Condomínio (Declaration of Condominium).
Convenção de Condomínio is the most important legal document that (within the Lei do Condomínio) guides and regulates how particular condominium association is run and administered.
Convenção de Condomínio is usually inaugurated after the construction phase is over and the developer hands over control of the property to the unit owners. It is not uncommon to use standard Convenção de Condomínio offered by the developer as the basis for the Declaration of Condominium.
It is highly recommended that you or your agent obtain a copy of the Convenção de Condomínio for the property you intend on purchasing as soon as you start to seriously consider making an offer. A copy of the Convenção de Condomínio can be requested from the property owner, property administration company that runs the condominium, or the condo executive administrator – the síndico.
It is often said that buying a condo unit is equivalent of buying a lifestyle. It means that you will find an already established way of administering the common property, implementing its security and maintenance procedures as well as other rules and regulations of using the playground, the garage, the pool, and any other common areas.
Familiarity with the Declaration of Condominium, meeting the building administrator, and having some heart-to-heart chats with the other condo owners and the company that is administering the condo association you are planning to join might spell the difference between full and practical enjoyment of your property vs. having some unpleasant surprises that thwart your plans on using and enjoying your new possession.
Convenção de Condomínio is not written in stone. It can be altered by a majority vote at an assembly specifically called for the modification or alteration of the document. Quorum requirements can be established by the very Convenção de Condomínio or guided by the Lei do Condomínio.
Boris Goldshmit is the founder of the Lifestyles Brazil Web Portal, a licensed Real Estate Broker, and a Residential General Contractor. He can be contacted at: +55 21 2255-6068, +55 21 9149-6856 and email@example.com.