Penalty for not attending the meeting of co-owners

There are important decisions that affect the day-to-day life of those who live in properties subject to the horizontal property regime.

An owner who resides in a condominium, in Cali, says that he was penalized with a charge of 150,000 pesos for not attending the assembly. “The fine was made effective in the joint monthly invoice where, in addition, the amount of the administration fee appears.  However, the sanction is not related to the minutes of the assembly. It is not in the regulations either. How can I do so that Will this sanction be reversed? ”


As stipulated in Law 675 of 2001, in order for the assembly or the council to impose sanctions for breach of obligations, including the imposition of fines, due process, the right to defence, and contradiction and challenge must be respected.

The norm adds that the intentionality of the act, the recklessness or negligence, as well as the mitigating circumstances must be assessed, and criteria of proportionality and graduation of the sanctions will be addressed, according to the seriousness of the offence, the damage caused and the recidivism. . The Law adds that it is necessary that the regulations indicate the behaviours subject to the sanctions and those that proceed in each case.

The affected person can challenge before the judge within the month following the communication of the sanction. Otherwise, you must pay the fine, which may be collected in accordance with the procedure determined in the regulations. Attendance at the assemblies is a duty of the owners since the fact of not attending personally or by representation can also harm the other owners. This is because the most important decisions require a qualified quorum of owners representing at least 70 percent of the total coefficients of co-ownership.

More about assemblies

Mr. Juan Carlos Gutiérrez Casas asks: What are the legal formalities based on which the assembly of co-owners must be convened and held so that it is not flawed? “.


In order for the decisions not to be challenged for being flawed, the formal requirements provided for in the horizontal property regulations and in Law 675 of 2001 must be met.

The preparation of the assembly so that it conforms to the rules starts from the call. Then – during the meeting – it is necessary to observe the provisions of the law, especially those of the decision-making quorum.


Concerns about the lease are constantly being raised. To resolve them, we consulted the lawyer Fabián Zabala, legal advisor for Central de Arrendamientos. In the video, you will find the answers.

These are some of the frequently asked questions:

1. Are there different kinds of leases?

Yes. The type of contract varies according to the location (if it is in an urban perimeter or if it is rural) and the destination of the property (commercial, residential, offices, warehouses or clinics). Depending on this, the regulations are different.

2. Does the lease need to be authenticated?

Although it is not mandatory, the parties involved in signing the contract do so to avoid identity theft.

3. What is the difference between extension and renewal?

Although they are constantly used as a synonym, the difference is that the extension is done automatically, keeping the same terms of the contract, while in the renewal terms such as the term and economic conditions can be changed.

In addition, renovation is used more in commercial properties.

4. If the lease is long-term, can the tenants take possession of the property?

This is more a myth, the tenants will not be able to become owners of the property, since the contract stipulates that the use is granted temporarily.


Invest in VIS housing, a profitable business for households

The lease in Bogota became the main choice for homes in the city. Last year, 54% of the people who sought to live in a home in the capital needed to do it this way, according to the report ‘Demand for real estate for sale and rent in Colombia’.

At the department level, Cundinamarca and Antioquia concentrated 74% of the 156,794,709 searches carried out during 2018, according to the document.

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In addition, the most recent National Household Budget Survey of the National Department of Statistics (Dane) revealed that accommodation and payment of public services was the expense that most affected Colombians.

Against this background, Social Interest Housing (VIS) is emerging as one of the main solutions to help households build the dream of owning their own home.

Know the keys that you must take into account when buying a VIS home

For those who want to have their own home, investing in VIS housing made on plans means that it can be achieved at a lower price and in the future it translates into greater profitability.

Meet our mortgage loan factory 

VIS projects that are close to the city centre are surrounded by excellent public transportation alternatives that connect with points of cultural and religious interest, shopping centres, among them.

Juan Daniel Flores, general manager of Eloisa Ingeniería, notes that in the case of households that buy VIS for investment, they must take into account that the project is well located, in already established sectors, near main roads, schools, portals or stations of Transmilenio, areas whose development generates future appreciation.

“The above taking into account that buying a new home, rather than a new business, is your best investment,” says Flores.


Industrial properties: how to define their price?

Currently, there is an average standard for wineries that has been improving, thanks to important influences such as the arrival of specialized logistics parks in more advanced markets than ours.

This has provided a remarkable level of competitiveness for our country and several options for clients who require warehouses adapted to their needs.

Among the factors that influence the prices of industrial properties, which can play for or against the value of the property are:

1. Physical and technical characteristics of the property. Elements such as area, height, space between columns, the resistance of floors, and a number of springs, among others.

2. Location, access roads, type of users of the industrial park, etc.

3. Type of lease. A long-term contract with no early exit with an above-market rate per square meter and an AAA-rated tenant adds a lot of value to the property.

David Castro, a specialist in industrial real estate at CBRE Colombia, comments: “If a company requires a space of the highest specifications in an intermediate or small city, it will probably not find it already built, but it will have investors willing to build. To measure and rent it long term. In this case, the development costs would be passed on to the user in a sale / rental value above the average”.

When investing in a property, whether industrial or not, the most important thing is to be clear about the objective of your investment, what is the expected return, what type of risks you are willing to take and what budget you have.

By analyzing in detail the risk profile and profitability requirements, it is possible to recommend a certain type of investors seeking to ensure flows from the rent of space and at the same time have appreciation perspectives. If you do not have the financial muscle, there are several investment fund alternatives that have experienced personnel in this decision making.


Industrial parks and warehouses: a growing market

The industrial market in Colombia has been evolving towards better spaces, characteristics and practices to consolidate specialized industrial zones in the large cities of the country.

During the last 2 years, a greater number of logistics spaces have been registered, built and also made to measure, as well as a high potential for large industrial locations.

“The costs per square meter in 2019 for industrial zones in Colombia depend on the type of development. There are constructions with very specific adaptations, custom-made projects that sometimes require greater resistance of floors, heights, specialized security systems, insulation, etc. However, the average prices for traditional warehouses are around $ 1,300,000 per square meter, without taking into account the land, “said David Castro, a specialist in industrial real estate at CBRE Colombia.

A few years ago, the majority of owners developed industrial spaces with an average standard, hoping to meet the need for the area and rent in the short and medium-term, which eventually caused a significant oversupply and a drop in prices and profitability in the main cities of Colombia.

As of 2019, Bogotá has the highest concentration of industrial parks with an inventory of 4.2 million square meters, followed by Barranquilla with 1 million, Medellin with 715,000 square meters and Cali with approximately 600,000 square meters.

assemble communities,

If you can't do the assembly in March, keep in mind ...

A reader asks: “As a condo manager, I will not be able to hold the annual meeting in March. How do I proceed to summon it in April?

Answer. The law establishes that “in the event that the assembly is not called to meet within the three months following the expiration of each budget period, it may meet in an ordinary way –by its own right– on the first business day of the fourth month following the expiration of each budget period”.

And he adds that he will do so “at the place and time indicated in the regulations or, failing that, at the facilities of the building or complex at 8:00 pm.” This means that it is necessary to verify what the regulation establishes on the subject.

Mixed-use buildings

An owner tells that she lives in a building with 30 apartments that have the same area and, therefore, the same coefficient. “One on the first floor is inhabited by a family who put in a space equivalent to 50 percent a small store that serves us residents and occasionally the outside public. For that detail, will we be mixed-use? Likewise, they pay the same value as an apartment”.

Answer. The way to find out if the building is legally mixed and, therefore, the rules for this kind of use apply to it, is to examine the building license with its modifications, as well as the horizontal property regulations to establish if the premises are approved. In accordance with the aforementioned documents.

If this is not the case, it must be verified if the urban regulations allow it and if the joint ownership accepts this use; in case it endorses it, the adaptation and reform license must be obtained, and the approval of the assembly for the change of destination of the unit; In addition, the horizontal property regulations must be modified. The same reader tells that since the construction license was granted, the horizontal property regulations read that “the residential unit called ‘Multifamily’ was constituted, composed of 2 blocks or buildings of 4 floors each, for a total of 40 apartments and 2 commercial premises ”. Question: “Is this building a mixed-use building, even though the regulations say it is a residential unit?”

Answer. Law 675 of 2001 defines mixed-use buildings or complexes as real estate whose private property assets have various destinations such as housing, commerce, industry or offices, in accordance with current urban planning regulations.

Regardless of the name of the complex, if the aforementioned private units are listed as commercial premises in the building license and horizontal property regulations, the building is mixed-use. Otherwise, the respective legalization must be done.

Share property

How much is a co-ownership worth?

In the framework of the Horizontal Property Seminar ‘Tools and New Trends’, organized by Fedelonjas and the Sonja de Bogotá, they spoke about the importance of knowing the value of joint property and the cases in which it is necessary to make an appraisal of it. interviewed Camilo Bermudez González, president of the Board of Directors of the Sonja de Bogotá and Andrés Martinez Umami, executive president of the Sonja de Bogotá.

According to Martinez, “Law 675 of 2001 establishes that co-properties can request the appraisal of both the common areas and the private areas, but they must necessarily request that the common areas be appraised.”

What is a co-ownership valued for?

The value of joint property is basically needed to know the replacement cost that it has. That is, how much is it worth to return the property to the original construction conditions, according to Martinez.

Generally, determining this value has two functions: knowing the insurable value and on the other hand for accounting purposes. “For insurable purposes, the value of the land is not taken into account, because the value of the land is a common good that does not depreciate and therefore is not an insurable value. The insurable value is the replacement cost of the common areas. In the book value if you have to include the land, but in the same way it is handled as a replacement cost of the unit again”, assured Bermudez.

Then, those who use the value that is established in the appraisal are the insurance companies, to determine what the insurable value is.

How often should the appraisal be done?

Insurers typically require a co-ownership appraisal to be done annually, experts said.

What determines the value of co-ownership?

The value is established based on the state of conservation of the goods. “The better common areas and common services a unit have, the more value it can have. If its deterioration is allowed to accelerate, obviously its value is detrimental,” commented the president of the Board of Directors of the Sonja de Bogotá.

In which cases is the insurer responsible for the replacement value?

“In cases where there is a loss, either due to a seismic movement, fire or any calamity, the insurance company enters to evaluate what the damages were and has to pay them at its replacement cost, that is, to replace it again “, Bermudez expressed.

It is important to clarify that in the event that the damage to the common goods is due to natural deteriorationthe insurer is not liable for them.

Who makes these appraisals? 

In these cases, as for the appraisals of private goods, Law 1673 of 2013 and Regulatory Decree 556 of 2014 govern, which stipulates that appraisers must have an open registry of appraisers to be able to carry out their activity, Martinez concluded.



Guidelines for the work of the board of directors

This body was created to serve as an intermediary between the co-owners and the administrator.

Despite the fact that in residential use it is not compulsory to integrate boards of directors and, where they exist, they are not empowered to authorize or not the budget execution ordered by the general assembly of co-owners, many analysts consider them key.

According to German Molino, president of the College of Horizontal Property Administrators of Bogotá, the complexity of the operation of the legal entity in the buildings and complexes determined the need to establish them.

The manager explains how this body created in Law 675 of 2001 works with the fundamental function of serving as an intermediary between the co-owners and the administrator.

Their integration must always be three or more owners, but always in an odd number.

According to the horizontal property regulations, the directors of administration may have alternates and for this purpose, the wording of the management of each of them must be very clear.

In the terms of Law 675 of 2001, its specific functions are to appoint the administrator, in certain cases, and review with him the annual accounts, the report for the assemblies, the budget for the new term, the balance sheet and the budget execution; in addition, it must call the meeting of the extraordinary general assembly.


The regulations grant them other powers that as long as they do not go against the law, nor the functions of the assembly and the administrator, will be welcomed. If the building statute so prescribes, the council must impose sanctions on those who fail to comply with non-pecuniary obligations, of course, under the principle of due process.

It must be taken into account that the board of directors does not represent the co-owners before the authorities and third parties. It only carries out coordination, orientation and advice to the administration on duty.

The co-owners always ask if the directors should be compensated with economic benefits or by making discounts on the common expenses. However, in many cases, this kind of recognition is neither practical nor economical. But if the co-owners want, at the meeting of the ordinary general assembly they can evaluate their work in the immediately previous period and, in this way, authorize recognitions that do not mean damages to the patrimony.
Finally, it must be taken into account that the constitution of the councils is mandatory in buildings or complexes of commercial or mixed-use of more than thirty private units, without taking into account parking spaces and deposits.


The co-owners gathered in the general assembly elect the members of the council. The profile of the candidates to integrate this body are in the horizontal property regulations; However, ethical principles must be taken into account, including that they do not have financial obligations and investigations for violations of the rules of coexistence, or relationships or other affinities with other directors or with the administrator or fiscal auditor.
The form of election of the directors will also be determined by the horizontal property regulations.


It is customary to include functions for the board of directors in horizontal property regulations, many of them contrary to those established by law. Therefore, conflicts of jurisdiction are generated with the general assembly, the administrator and the fiscal auditor.
German Molino, president of the College of Horizontal Property Administrators of Bogotá, notes that he is empowered to advise the administrator and ensure that he complies with the law, the regulations and what is ordered by the assembly.
In addition, you must review the physical state of the building or complex on a monthly basis, and the budget execution for its maintenance; Likewise, it must be aware that the health and safety controls with respect to the possession of pets are complied with and, incidentally, control –but not prevent– the investment of the money ordered by the assembly for co-ownership.
The council meetings will be held in the manner stipulated in the regulations, normally every month.
The indefinite number of meetings should not be allowed, as there are other obligations that require more attention.