Virtual Meetings of the Owners – Horizontal Property Regime in Panama

With the enactment of Executive Decree No. 151 of June 16, 2020, which regulates Law No. 31 of June 18, 2010, which establishes the Horizontal Property Regime in Panama, a series of uncertainties arise regarding virtual meetings and communications of the Owners’ and Board of Directors’ Assemblies.

The regulation we refer to provides that the Co-Ownership Regulations established that the owners who participate by electronic means may attend the meeting, bringing with this possibility that amendments would have to be made to all the Co-Ownership Regulations registered prior to the enactment of the Executive Decree in question in order to include this modality.

That being so, the governing authority, by means of the Law No. 180 of November 16, 2020, which amends the Law 21 of 2010, clarifies this uncertainty, introduces a new concept of “owners up-to-date”, and likewise legislates on several relevant aspects.

Among these relevant aspects is the instruction of the concept of “owner up-to-date, which is nothing more than the one who has registered in the Public Registry in its name one or more units of property in the same property, and has paid the common expenses installments in the current month. 

Article 50 is amended where it incorporated the use of technological means in order to convene and hold the Meeting of the Owners, the minimum requirements that such convening must contain are detailed, and in addition it indicates that any provision to be held by digital means will be regulated by the MIVIOT by means of a ministerial decision.

It is important to highlight that in the case of an ordinary meeting, to convene the meeting of the Owners, at least the draft budget, the management report and the audited financial statement of the previous period must be attached.  If this documentation is not attached, the call will not be validated.

Similarly, Article 53 indicates that all decisions adopted by the Owners’ Assembly, in order to be legally effective and mandatory, must be approved by more than half of all the real estate units that are up to date in the payment of the common expense fees, and that such decisions shall be recorded in the minutes detailing the minimum aspects that must be contained therein.