In a recent judgement, the Supreme Court took a position in the debated issue of whether an apartment owner with claims against other owners would be entitled to offset those claims against an apartment association. In the dispute, an apartment association filed a claim against an apartment owner for unpaid utility and management bills. The apartment owner argued that he was not obliged to pay the bills as he had repaired the roof of the apartment building at his own expense and was entitled to offset those costs against utility and management charges.

The Supreme Court agreed with the logic that an apartment owner who has claims against other owners can exercise those claims in relation to the apartment association, for example by offsetting the claims against an apartment association’s claims for utility and management charges.

Also significantly, the Court upheld the notion that if the roof of a building is dilapidated and an apartment association fails to take appropriate measures within a reasonable period, an apartment owner may order the required repairs itself without prior authorisation from the apartment association or other apartment owners.