If you are reading this article then it is likely that you have questions or interests about the work of a juristic entity or the administrative functions required at a residential project. You may have frequently heard condo dwellers mention the juristic person, and are wondering about its functions and why it is even necessary. Can a residential project make do without one? Perhaps you are looking to buy your first condo room, or maybe you have only recently moved into a condo. In this article, we will explore why attention needs to be given to the work of the juristic person. It is hoped that this read will clarify the matters you may be wondering about, and instill an understanding over the juristic person.
What is the function of a condo juristic person?
First, we need to know what the function of the condo juristic person is. The administrative or management duties of the juristic person at a condominium are duties that, under the law, must be carried out starting from the day the condominium is registered as a juristic person. Its purpose is to ensure that common assets are managed and maintained in manners that allow the assets to retain or increase their values, or in manners that allow the assets to be utilised safely and optimally. The juristic person also oversees order within the residential project and strives to foster a harmonious coexistence among the residents. It has the role of establishing policies, regulations and plans and also has the role of overseeing common assets, evaluating their conditions and presenting plans for their improvement.
What does the condo juristic person do?
The juristic person oversees all common assets, plan expenses and budgets and any exploitation of the common assets. It arranges meetings for various agendas that include the annual general meeting. It also holds activities that contribute to the harmonious coexistence of the co-owners, and works to publicise news and communicate various information.
Which of the common assets are overseen by the juristic person?
The management of the common assets is a primary duty of the juristic person. The common area is a large, shared space that is utilised by many people. The management of the residential project works to maintain a good living environment and preserve the condition of the common assets in the long term. It also makes sure that the conditions of various systems are continually up to standard. In this regard, the management has the following duties:
1. Managing the buildings and the common area
The buildings and the common area within a condominium project are used by every co-owner and resident. Articles that fall into this category include the walls of buildings, the structure and roof of buildings, the entrance lobby and elevator lobby, as well as the hallways on all the floors. Attention to this aspect of the common area effects the image of the project, its ambience, and the satisfaction of its residents. The level of maintenance of this aspect reflects the quality of the management of the buildings and other common areas within the condominium compound. Buildings and common areas that are in good condition make a direct, positive contribution to the value of the condominium; projects that receive proper care will see increases in their resale and rental values, on top of the value modifiers such as location and amenities.
Lobby at THE LINE Sukhumvit 71, managed by Plus Property
2. Managing the maintenance of building systems
Building systems form the core of a condominium; they are critical components that allow a condominium to function and have direct effects on the comfort and safety of its inhabitants. These systems also reflect the quality and credibility of the management at each condo project. Without efficient and sustained maintenance, the systems are subject to breakage and cessation of functionality. Great discomfort among the inhabitants will likely come as the result of such breakage.
The maintenance of building systems encompasses the following details:
- Tap water system. The piping should be intact, with no leakage. Outlets must be in working order, floats and valves should be in good condition, and water tanks should be able to store water without any leaks.
- Fire alarm system. This system should be subjected to regular inspection, so every equipment is in 100% working order when an emergency occurs.
- Power system. Electricity feed should be uninterrupted and equipment inside the load centre, transformer and backup generator must be in good condition. The generator and its housing should also be kept clean.
- Wastewater treatment system. Septic tanks and grease traps should be in good condition and devoid of cracks. Wastewater piping must not leak, while water pumps and aerators (if present) must be in good working order and free from corrosion.
- Lift system. Lifts should ready for service when they are needed. Their movement should be smooth and they should stop in alignment with each floor. Buttons, indicator lights and emergency functions should work properly.
- Lighting system. Each light fitting is able to switch on, while lamp posts and the lamps themselves must not be broken.
- Backup power. Periodic inspection of the system's efficiency will ensure functionality upon instances of power outage.
3. Managing the surrounds of the condominium
The project developer will usually design the project in a way that parts of the surrounding space are set aside for landscaping. Landscaped features may include fountains, greenery, statues and etc. These provide for a beautiful environment and, as a whole, make up a component that promotes the identity of a condominium. Their beautification effect can be felt by a visitor from the first step taken into the condominium project. The space around the buildings reflects the character of the condominium and the lifestyle of its occupants. Therefore, meticulous care is needed over this area because of how much it represents the residential project itself.
- Trees. Attention should be given to trees so they retain a pleasant shape and are free from diseases. Branches and the area at the trunk base should be pruned. Special attention should be given before and after storms.
- Road and walkway lighting. Each light fitting is able to switch on, while lamp posts and the lamps themselves must not be broken.
- Roads. Roads should be level and free from potholes and cracks. Drain covers on road shoulders should be kept in good condition.
- Entrances, fences and associated decorative features. All surfaces should be kept clean and free from unsightly stains or corrosion.
- Lawn. At least 90% of the lawn should be a healthy green. The lawn surface should be of a height between 2-4 inches and should be uniform. The lawn should also be free from weeds and have less than 10% of its area covered by leaves or debris.
- Footpaths. Proper materials used should be used for footpaths and their edges should be clearly discernible. These should be kept in good condition and any damage must not exceed a threshold that constitutes a hazard.
- Shrubs and decorative plants. These plants should be of a healthy colour and without broken branches or dried leave. Foliage should have a density that is natural for each plant, and foliage shapes should be in keeping with what was originally envisaged.
- Drains. Leaves and weeds must not be allowed to clog the drains. Drain covers and drain channels must be of adequate size and laid in a precise manner. Clogging and breakage must be avoided.
4. Management of fire safety and emergencies
Fire safety is crucial matter; the consequences of a fire are severe and may claim people's lives and assets. Fires have many causes, including unforeseen accidents, negligence, electric circuit malfunctions and short-circuiting in deteriorated electrical appliances, as well as natural disasters. We are able to avoid or prevent fires via inspections, removal of flammable materials, and proper management and organisation of spaces. The collaboration of residents is needed to reduce said fire risks at a condominium, in order to ensure fire safety within the individual apartments as well as in the common areas.
The juristic person has the responsibility of preparing for and mitigating fire incidents when they arise, in order to minimise losses. The management is also expected to provide relevant knowledge and raise awareness of fire safety conducts among residents, in addition to holding well-organised fire drills - these efforts help to mitigate risks and losses associated with fires.
In addition to fires, unexpected occurrences may develop at a condominium and pose hazards to the lives of the occupants. These may come in the form of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and storms or in other forms such as health emergencies and rioting. Because of the unpredictability of these occurrences, responses to them take the form of mitigation of damages.
The condominium's juristic person has a duty of making preparations to address said emergencies in a manner that minimise losses. Said preparations include establishing an operating procedure or a response plan, response drills for personnel, procurement of equipment and tools, and provision of knowledge on best practices to the co-owners and the residents.
The management of fire safety and emergencies at a condominium involves the following:
- Fire response plan
- Earthquake response plan
- Flood response plan
- First aid delivery plan
- Riot response plan
- Plan for assisting persons trapped in lifts
5. Management of security affairs
Security disturbances and safety risks include assault and battery, brawling, trespassing, theft, and destruction of property. Such disturbances are usually perpetrated by individuals who had malicious intent and whose motive was to acquire valuables, or are results of conflicts.
The extent of security provision includes preventing potential transgressors from accessing the condominium compound, restricting access to various areas inside the condominium, and defeating transgressions when they occur. The condominium's juristic person has the responsibility of arranging measures and security procedures that suit the characteristics of each condominium. It also has a duty of recruiting security personnel that are competent and are able to operate in accord with the established security measures and procedures. Providing residents with security-related knowledge and raising their awareness of security best practices will reduce their exposure to risks.
Management of security affairs inside a condominium project involves:
- Well-established security provision
- Restricting access in and out of the condominium compound
- Restricting access to the inside of buildings
- Guard duty and patrol duty
6. Management of waste
Waste management requires a systematic approach. Containers have to be designated for each type of waste. Waste disposal points and gathering points must be established. The methodology for gathering, sorting and removing waste from the compound has to be determined. A well-organised waste handling process and good coordination with local authorities and recycling businesses would also lead to more efficient management of waste.
Types of waste at a condominium comprise the following:
- Dry waste that can be recycled. Examples include paper, plastic, glass, metal, fabric, wood and rubber.
- Dry waste that cannot be decomposed and which do not provide enough recycling value. Examples are plastic candy wrappers, instant noodle มมwrappers, and plastic bags, foams and foils that are sullied by food.
- Wet waste means easily-decomposed wastes such as food scraps, vegetables and fruit peels.
- Hazardous wastes are items such as chemicals, toxic substances, batteries and light bulbs.
7. Pest prevention and control
Without proper management, pests may become an issue for people who reside within a condominium. The usual pests at a condo are rats, cockroaches, flies, ants, mosquitoes and termites. These unwanted dwellers may propagate and flourish because of lapses in waste management or availability of food scraps. Or the pests may have spread from a nearby place where pest control is neglected and propagation is left unchecked. Lack of maintenance and repair of buildings may also result in pest issues; examples are humid walls and ceilings, and cracked walkways.
In addition to being a nuisance, pests also pose hygiene and health risks and may also cause damage to assets and buildings.
8. Management of facilities and the swimming pool
Facilities are oftentimes the gathering spots of condominium residents who have come to relax, exercise or to socialise. Facilities have effects on the quality of life and well-being of everyone, and thus they and any associated recreational features should be kept in good condition. Types of equipment available at the facilities should also match the requirements of the residents. The juristic person must maintain facility equipment and not allow them to be neglected; doing otherwise may give rise to unnecessary replacement costs. Greater utility of the equipment as well as better usability and safety can be attained through proper maintenance.
The management of facilities inside a condominium involves the following:
- Walls should have well-maintained paint and should not be peeling. There should not be cracks as well as unsightly stains.
- Furniture and decorative features should be in good condition and be kept clean and neat.
- Exercise equipment should be in ready-to-use condition, be kept clean, and be in orderly arrangement.
- Walkway floors, walls and ceilings should have well-maintained paint coats and should be devoid of peelings and stains.
- Carpets should not be dusty and should be free of stains or odours. Glass and stainless surfaces should be kept shiny and free of smudges.
Maintenance of the swimming pool
The swimming pool is one of the basic facilities found at condominiums. The pool is a prominent component of the condominium project which attracts the attention of room buyers, and is widely used by condo occupants. Without the proper care, the pool may become unappealing for users and may also pose hazards. Under-maintenance may also result in rapid deterioration that quickly leads to damages, ultimately resulting in diminished utility and unnecessary expenses.
A properly maintained swimming pool at a condominium should:
- Be free of carbonate deposits, smudges and algae. This should be the case for the inside of the pool as well as around it.
- Have water that is clear and uncoloured.
- Have a pH reading between 7.4 and 7.6
- Have a water filter pressure that does not exceed 20 psi.
- Not have cracks or leaks; pool tiles should be in excellent condition and free from breakage that may be hazardous.
9. Management and maintenance of the parking space
The parking space is a basic facility that must be available at every condominium for use by residents as well as visitors. Generally, the number of parking slots is lower than the number of units at a condo. This necessitates a management that prevents disputes, obstructions and conflicts inside the car park. The car park should be kept in good condition and security should be provided.
The 9 aspects of condo management mentioned above are only part of the juristic person's responsibilities. Other duties include the management of expenses and common fees, the management of the reserve fund and the juristic person budget and the organisation of meetings. The juristic entity also works to promote relations between the residents of a condominium project, in order to foster a good community. It works to promote happiness in living at the condo, while being aware of the surrounding communities and society.
Having a company or professionals that specialise in building management and are knowledgeable about condo dwellers take charge of the administrative functions at the condo juristic entity is a crucial matter that cannot be overlooked. A condominium is similar to a big house that is inhabited by many people who all have rights as co-owners. Procuring an entity to handle the juristic person's tasks requires exercise of diligence and is not a decision to be made by an individual or a specific set of juristic person committee. It is the right of every co-owner to select the entity they think will best serve to make the affairs of living and management easier.
Living Management is a management philosophy that Plus Property takes to mean more than the functions of a juristic person. Such management involves all dimensions of living, and is not limited to the facilitation of convenience, the enforcement of regulations or the maintenance of buildings. Other aspects of residents' demands also need to be fulfilled.
PLUS believes that happiness in living at any type of housing community is the result of attentive and customised care. The physical characteristics of each project are unique; project come in a variety of sizes and with a variety of common area configurations, swimming pools, floras and special materials that are project-specific. We have been learning from and drawing on our experience in administrating various property projects, and have been training our personnel to have area-specific expertise while promoting multidisciplinary knowledge in an attempt to foster synergy. These efforts are made so that every component at a property project can be sustainably cared for and so that the project can appreciate in value.
Plus Property is a full-service professional property and facility management agency. With more than 20 years of experience, PLUS manages residential and commercial properties through its team of quality professionals, heeding to all types of demand.
Give us a call at 02 688 7555 to get more details about property management, or click here to learn more our services.