By Ricardo Alberto Ceballos – Associate
The Ministry of Housing and Territorial Planning (MIVIOT), through a press release dated March 25, 2020, advises the administrators of horizontal properties that, while the national emergency lasts, they will not be able to suspend essential services. At the same time, they urge the members of the Boards of Directors to be solidary and flexible with the payment of fees for common expenses, to suspend the surcharges for late payment, and to promote possible payment arrangements with those owners who are being economically affected by the national quarantine.
However, the Minister stated how important it is that owners continue to comply with the payment of fees so that the horizontal property can continue operating properly. The Minister also clarified that the Ministry’s statement is based on recommendations, as only the Board of Directors can make decisions on behalf of the Assembly of Owners. For this reason, in these times of crisis, it is recommended that the decisions to be taken by the Boards of Directors are made for the benefit of the horizontal property so that that the buildings or housing developments subject to the Horizontal Property Regime can continue to meet their obligations with their suppliers and that their operations are not affected, as in the specific case of private security and maintenance of elevators, etc.
In conclusion, only the Boards of Directors can adopt measures aimed at preserving health and safety in the face of the national emergency that the country is experiencing and considering the measures already established by the Panamanian State that restricts crowds, as may occur during Owners Assembly meetings.