On 15 January 2014, amendments to the Residential Building Management Law came into force. The most significant changes affect the procedure used by owners of a residential building to settle payments to providers of services required for building maintenance. From now on, agreements with service providers will be concluded individually by owners of residential buildings, while payments will be made directly to the service provider. An exception is allowed only in a situation where the owners of a residential building authorise another person to conclude agreements, collect payments and transfer them to the service provider.

Obligations are imposed on the service provider to ensure the option to enter into an individual agreement, to control the owner's payments, to inform other owners of the residential building in good time if a separate owner fails to perform its duties and the situation may affect the interests of other owners, as well as to issue statements regarding payments and send notices regarding debts.

The amendments include changes to other regulations to ensure more efficient implementation of the new payment procedure. In general, the changes set time limits as to when a service provider and a manager must inform the owner of a residential building regarding costs of invoice servicing, debts involving the building, payment schedules and amounts transferred to the service provider. In certain cases the manager must undertake a survey to find out the opinion of the owners of a residential building as to further payment procedure.

Agreement provisions as to changes in payment procedure will be amended by an authorised person on behalf of the owner of the residential building; and the amendments will be made by the manager in buildings whose management rights have not been transferred to a company consisting of owners of the residential building or a person authorised by mutual agreement among the owners.

Service agreements between the owners of residential buildings and service providers must be concluded no later than 30 September 2015, and direct payments have to start on 1 October 2015 at the latest, thus completing the transition, unless the parties have agreed on starting direct payments before this deadline.

In future, management tasks can be undertaken only by persons with qualifications already recognised before the law came into force and who produce a document confirming a third-level qualification.

In addition, the amendments relate to

  • mandatory management operations;
  • managerial competence;
  • taking over obligations and expiry of a manager's legal relations in the case of a dispute;
  • procedure for transferring management tasks and adopting decisions for management of a residential building where the residential building is co-owned by several owners;
  • data to be included in the manager's annual accounts; and
  • separate issues related to the Register of Managers.