Living in a community has become a great challenge for people, especially in times of pandemics when families are at home and face 24/7 coexistence with their neighbours.
As owners or tenants, we must bear in mind that there are a series of rights and duties that we must abide by in order to have a good coexistence in a horizontal property.
In Law 675 of 2001 measures that serve to have a good coexistence in this type of property, taking into account that respect and tolerance are the vital tools to live in the community.
The second article of Law 675 of 2001: “Peaceful coexistence and social solidarity. The horizontal property regulations must tend to the establishment of peaceful relations of cooperation and social solidarity between the co-owners or holders. “
To better understand this issue, Nancy Consuelo Alvarado, dean of the Faculty of Law at the Universidad Cooperative de Colombia in Bogotá, spoke with metrocuadrado.com.
TO WHAT EXTENT MAY THE MANAGER LEGALLY INTERVENE IN EACH PROPERTY?
R / The office of the administrator is regulated by articles 5 and 51 of the aforementioned law, whose role is to be the legal representative of the building or residential complex.
Article fifty-one of Law 675 of 2001: “The immediate administration of the building or complex will be in charge of the administrator, who has powers of execution, conservation, representation and collection.”
The intervention of this representative is regulated by the Constitution, the law and the horizontal property regulations, that is, he cannot act outside these parameters and for any decision he makes, unilaterally, he will have to guarantee due process and this includes the right to defence.
Nor could it invade the privacy of residents or affect the right to human dignity and in any case it would have to be a guarantor in complex situations.
WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE ARE VERY NOISY NEIGHBORS?
R / Two actions could be taken into account:
• A preventive one through a respectful call to invite, voluntarily, to stop the activity that causes unrest.
• Go to the respective authority, such as the quadrant police.
CAN THE TENANT DELIVER THE APARTMENT AT ANY TIME IF THERE IS NO SOLUTION TO THE NOISE?
R / No. The grounds for termination of the contract are stipulated in Law 820 of 2003 for the lessor and the lessee. For the latter, the cause is not considered, however, it can be terminated with the payment of compensation and prior notification by certified mail to the landlord; otherwise with the landlord who can terminate the contract to the tenant who repeatedly causes noise nuisance.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE NOISE OF CHILDREN PLAYING?
R / Actually, the law is a guarantee that the principles will be fulfilled where, for example, respect for human dignity would come into operation, because on one side is the family in its natural and intimate role where there could be the noise of children.
We cannot transcend the limit of privacy and the natural role of people in a difficult time, such as the pandemic, and overcome it over the tranquillity of the neighbour or neighbourhood or the opposite.
However, as mentioned, there must be a coexistence committee that can intervene to find a solution without more serious conflicts.
CAN I RECEIVE A PENALTY FOR EXCESSIVE NOISE?
R / Yes, as long as they are contemplated in the horizontal property regulations, which must be known to the co-owners. Due process and the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, as well as the right to defence, must also be guaranteed.
It should be remembered that, in times of a pandemic, administrators cannot constitutionally deny family visits to residential complexes, since access to private units can only be restricted by their owners.