Possible reporting requirements to curb derelict buildings

To help prevent a rise in dilapidated and poorly maintained apartment buildings, The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is considering introducing regulations that would require owners’ associations to report on building maintenance.

Older condominiums can easily fall into disrepair when the owners are not actively managing or maintaining the buildings. Maintenance can be especially challenging when the majority of owners are elderly and on fixed incomes, as it can be difficult to obtain approval for costly repairs.

The proposed regulations may require owners’ associations to provide reports on minutes from general meetings, repairs and maintenance history as well as long-term repair plans. Associations that fail to comply could face fines and could have their building’s name published (which could have an impact on property values).

A city survey in 2011 found that 93.5% of surveyed condominiums had established owners’ associations. However, for buildings with less than 20 apartments, 17.4% had no owners’ associations and 16.0% had no management bylaws. A separate survey by the national government found that 40% of condominiums had owners who were more than 3 months late in management and repair fund fees.

If these regulations are approved, Tokyo would be the first region in Japan to implement these reporting requirements.

Source: The Sankei Shimbun, September 4, 2015.

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