The National Police and Coexistence Code issued by Law 1801 of 2016 is in force and many of its provisions trace the route so that the day-to-day in the complexes and buildings is more bearable.
In this regard, the lawyer specializing in the subject, Nora Paton, recalls that the established guidelines are preventive. The law repeals the previous Code (Decree 1355 of 1970) and its modifications; in addition, it does so partially with laws 388 of 1997 and 810 of 2003, among others.
According to Paton, “without prejudice to the mandatory application of horizontal property regulations, internal or coexistence manuals, the new code will also apply to buildings and residential groups.”
This means – notes the lawyer – that administrators and councils will have an additional mechanism to guarantee the protection of the rights and compliance with the obligations of owners, holders and visitors.
Despite the fact that several regulations that regulated them were already in force, these were included in the current code, which means that in addition to the sanctions that may be imposed by the control bodies of the joint properties to the offenders, the administrators – in the representation of the affected persons or the legal person (the building) – they may go to the police authorities in various foreseen cases.
In this regard, the president of the College of Horizontal Property Administrators of Bogotá, German Molino, said that among the behaviours that will be sanctioned is the development of graffiti on the internal and external facades, and fights. Actions are added such as throwing objects, attacking or threatening residents, locating objects in buildings that, when they fall, affect the integrity of residents (flowerpots, for example) and carrying weapons, among others.
In the case of the presence of canine pets that cause disturbance in the co-ownership, the rules of the Police Code are very specific: in the case of problems with dogs considered potentially dangerous, the damages caused by this situation generate liability to its owners, the administrator and the permissive directors.
Admission to private units
“The use of force by the police is viable as a physical last resort when it comes to protecting the life and integrity of people,” said German Molino, president of the College of Horizontal Property Administrators of Bogotá. For this reason, the new Police Code allows agents to enter the buildings without prior order to control mentally altered people, due to the consumption of alcohol or psychoactive substances, and therefore their lives or those of other people are at risk. Likewise, the police will be contacted if a stranger has to be removed from the complex or building, or in the event of neutralizing a dangerous dog.
According to Molino, entry to real estate is also caused when a person who is persecuted by the police enters another’s home. “In any case, if a circumstance is of risk or danger for co-owners and residents because of third parties, the police authority has the authorization to enter to capture those involved,” reiterated the manager.
In the malls
The recommendations also include actions in shopping centres. In fact, they warn that, although massive events in these complexes are controlled and the Police Code prevents such situations, they must meet a minimum of conditions when crowds occur;, so that they do not generate a possible accident to the people attending or close to the events that –in any case– must have permission from the competent authority.