Consumer Protection Agency in BA


Our building had an administrator for one year who did nothing for us, and robbed us. She didn't respond to my emails asking questions about our building issues. I wanted to file a complaint against her, but I didn't know where to go. In early March we voted her removed as administrator. She was supposed to turn over all our records over in ten days, but took her sweet time so she could charge us for another month of doing nothing. A complaint against her had to be made while she was still our administrator. I missed my big opportunity to do so.

I have yet to talk with an apartment owner in any building who says they have an outstanding administrator that handles things in a timely matter and keeps the owners informed. Administrators manage too many buildings to make more income, so attention to detail and good communication with consorcios is impossible. One meeting with owners each year is all they have time for.

Our new administrator took over in late March when we signed a motion appointing her at a special meeting. She let the previous administrator take weeks to turn over our records, so our consorcio was basically unable to operate. We had no access to our bank account nor any idea of the balance. She, too, ignored my emails about things that needed attention in our building. The previous owner's council resigned, and there were no one willing to sign up. I tried to keep the lines of communication open on what we needed done in the building. The monthly liquidation showed that there was no payment for fire insurance which is mandatory. The emergency lights in the hallways haven't worked in years. The fire extinguishers expired in July. The administrator was not doing her job. The book of owners was not complete, so technically voting at a meeting was illegal unless a signature appeared in it. I asked to see the previous year's receipts and got no response from her. I started researching the law online about what administrators in the city are obligated to do. Ours was getting away with mismanagement from the start.

Administrators have responsibilities which are clearly set forth in the law. If they don't complete them, an owner or renter has the right to file a complaint, which is what I did. I went to Comuna 3 offices where I talked with a woman handling consumer issues. (She lived in California and Puerto Rico for years, so much of our conversation was in English.) I provided copies of my unanswered emails to the administrator. I completed the required form indicating the areas which our administrator has not complied. The city website provides all the information for this process. I provided my DNI and a photocopy, a copy of my electric bill, and documentation to prove my case against her. I was given an appointment on October 30 with the staff lawyer who will handle the matter. The notice will be mailed to the administrator. I am looking for answers why our administrator has been so unresponsive to taking care of business for our building and knowing whether she is interested in improving. The last liquidation indicated making payments of expenses to her bank account, so I withheld payment. The consorcio has/had a bank account with Santander Rio opened by the previous administrator.

I'm posting to share the information because there are certainly others who are dissatisfied with their administrators as I am. It's common to do nothing and put up with business as usual. Administrators continue collecting their monthly salary for doing as little as possible and are never available by phone. I will update the thread after my Oct 30 meeting with the lawyer and our administrator.

Here is the place to start:

Compliance with the administrator's obligations:

Lack of administrator registration.
It does not execute the decisions adopted by the assembly of the owners in the terms of execution required of the administrator.
It does not carry out the conservation of the common parts, not safeguarding the security of the building according to the current regulations.
Lack of contracting of compulsory insurance.
It does not carry in due form the compulsory books of the consortium.
It does not keep the supporting documentation of the consortium's suppliers.
It does not guarantee the free access of the documentation and / or the obligatory books to the consortiums.
Failure to report to the competent authority any unregulated situation and the works executed in the building that it administers without the respective work permit or without notice of work.
No bank account in the name of the consortium of owners where the funds are deposited.
Lack of convocation to the ordinary or extraordinary assembly in time and form according to the consortium's co-ownership regulation.
Failure to return the expired books within 10 days in case of resignation, cessation or removal
Breach of the requirements demanded in the bills of payment of expenses
Failure to submit proof of registration in the ordinary or extraordinary meeting at the time of appointment.
The manager hires suppliers of products or services that do not meet the mandatory requirements, for example when hiring a gas supplier who is not enrolled.

If your administrator isn't complying with any item on this list, you have the right to make a claim with the consumer protection agency.
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The new Comuna 3 offices in Spinetto Shopping Mall (the entire square block of Moreno & Pichincha & Alsina & Matheu) opened this week after a delay of almost two years. If you live in Balvanera or San Cristobal, this is your place to handle all kinds of city business including community mediation, consumer protection complaints, licenses, AGIP, etc.

I visited the new offices today (after going to Sarandi 1273 that has closed) to file a complaint against the owner and tenant of an apartment in our building that has cockroaches in the apartment and rats in the garden for many years. The owner does nothing to help. The administrator of the apartment does nothing except collect the rent, and the tenant continues living in a mess that is a health and fire hazard affecting the lives of everyone building. After 16 years, it was time to file a complaint with Mediacion Comunitaria.

Much to my surprise, the young woman handling my complaint was an American from Atlanta, Georgia USA, who is bi-lingual, so she was able to get this job with the city government. I explained the situation, provided correspondence with names, addresses, etc. and she completed the mediation request form and asked me which date and time was convenient for the meeting. The people notified must appear.

Comuna 3 has English speakers for both Mediation and Consumer Protection.
Good luck! I'm not as optimistic as you know. Consumer protection and Argentina don't really go hand in hand. EVERYTHING takes forever and no real recourse. Judicial system is a joke and even if you have a case, with all the corruption, judges can get bribed and you can lose. (I've had it happen to me). The judicial system there is a joke. I sincerely hope you make progress but wouldn't hold my breath.


Good luck! I'm not as optimistic as you know. Consumer protection and Argentina don't really go hand in hand. EVERYTHING takes forever and no real recourse. Judicial system is a joke and even if you have a case, with all the corruption, judges can get bribed and you can lose. (I've had it happen to me). The judicial system there is a joke. I sincerely hope you make progress but wouldn't hold my breath.
I don't share your opinions about the system. I attend neighborhood meetings that are for the sole purpose of understanding problems and providing solutions. I'm on the city mailing list so I receive almost daily messages about all the ways the city government is working to improve the lives of its citizens. There are consumer protection offices in the neighborhoods so that consumers can report problems and work things out through mediation.

The process is simple. One files a complaint and the mediation date is scheduled. Why would the city have these offices if they didn't take this seriously? I am confident that both of my complaints will be resolved. It costs nothing for the process. An agreement is prepared after mediation to which the parties agree, and then another meeting scheduled for confirmation of compliance. The mediators are lawyers who take this work seriously.

Don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled to hear that you're getting meaningful resolutions. So how many of these "mediation processes" have you been through? And what were the results? Was it an outcome you were happy with? From start when you file the claim to the outcome, how long did it take?


Early Retirement,

Pardon me for saying this.

Some of your posts are very good indeed.

But at times, I get the impression, you are trying too hard to impress us with "your money", "Your worldwide properties" and "how you seem to know everything about everything" and "How you know everything about BA and rest of us are duffers" and how " you have done many businesses here and how many accountants and lawyers and businessmen you know here while rest of us are homeless, sitting on pavements".
Sorry if I give off that vibe. It's not intended. I'm not trying to impress anyone, especially a bunch of expats on a message board. I don't know everything about everything. I'm giving opinions on my real-life experiences in Argentina. I'm no expert on it or saying my answer is correct. Just giving my real life experiences and opinions which is what these boards are all about. So if you ever read about something that you disagree with, then post about it and explain why. I'll politely post back.

If you think otherwise about BA being so efficient with mediation and judicial system, I suggest you post your experiences. I'm sorry but in all my experiences I do NOT find the judicial or mediation system there to work smoothly (or quickly).

If you have many great examples of it working, I'd sure love to hear about it. Thanks. Also, I believe if you don't like reading my posts there should be an ignore feature that you can utilize.

I told the OP I was happy that she had this outlet and asked to report experiences about her mediation results and how long it took because I don't know it all and want to learn.
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Early Retirement,

Like I said in my earlier posts, Some of your posts are very good. So I will not be using the "ignore" feature. But I do get the impression you try to "over compensate" in trying to tell us how rich you are and how much you know about USA, Argentina and the world while rest of us are duffers, broken, lost entities.

You have re-appeared here on this message board, few weeks ago after a gap of few years. Not sure, whats the agenda. Your posts are welcome. But when senior/regular/respected contributors like "Jantango" who lives 12 months a year here ( unlike you) provides a useful/unique post basis her personal experience, it is to be applauded for sharing and not ridiculed in a subtle way "Oh this country sucks..bla bla bla".

This board is of course meant for sharing personal experiences. Opinions are OK too..but there should be respect for senior members who are regular contributors and who are trying to share a unique experience.
No, I'm not trying to over compensate for anything. I'm sorry if you get that opinion. I try to always give the facts. I try to always be respectful with people and objective. So I'm sorry if I give the impression that "the rest of you are duffers, broken, lost entities" I believe I'm always respectful in my posts so I'm sorry if you don't get that impression. I see petty bickering and arguing and people putting people down on a DAILY basis here. I don't believe my posts would fall in that category in the least.

I don't have any agenda. I post information based on my experiences like I said. When in her post did I say the country sucked??? Please don't imply that I said that in this post. I didn't say that.

I don't believe I disrespected the OP in the least. I even asked her to follow up with some good helpful questions. So I'll ask you Ceviche, a long-time member on the board. In what ways/examples do you find consumer protection, judicial system and mediation speedy, efficient and fair in Argentina? Can you post some personal and specific examples? I'm always willing to hear about these things in Argentina because that is FAR from my experience.