Consumer Protection Agency in BA

#51
Okay..... well.... I've found the <like> button. But unless I can discover the whereabouts of the <I think what you do for your friends, neighbours, expats and people in general is utterly brilliant> button, I'll just have to write that lot out in full.
 
#52
Article 16.- Sanctions: Infractions to this Law are sanctioned with:
a.- Fine whose amount can be set between one (1) and one hundred (100) salaries corresponding to the basic salary of the lowest category of those in charge of rental houses and horizontal property without housing.
b.- Suspension of up to nine (9) months of the Registry;
c.- Exclusion from the Registry.

If our administrator does not comply with the terms of the agreement, she can be fined or be suspended from the work.
 
#53
Today was the mediation hearing with a tenant in the building where I live who uses the apartment and garden as a depository for his business selling junk. We have a rat problem for many years. The apartment is a disaster. If you saw it you'd wonder how anyone can live in it. The owner collects the rent from the administrator of the apartment and does nothing about the condition that effects the residents as a source of rats and cucarachas, besides being a fire hazard. The consorcio rules prohibit apartments used for commercial reasons or as a depository.

I stated my case with photos proving the disaster, the consorcio rules, letters to the owner and administrator that were ignored.

The tenant (a 65-year-old male) went on a tangent as I expected so he could avoid responding to the disaster in which he resides. The mediator got him back on topic so we could come to some kind of agreement. I've learned over the course of 20 years in Buenos Aires, that Argentines go on the offensive, making accusations and threats to the one who points out a serious problem. The tenant said that "the owner and administrator consider my actions as harassment, therefore, they refuse to respond." That is their way of hoping the person will be scared away, and they won't have to deal with the situation. I will not back down. The next step in the process is for me to send a carta documento to the owner, who refused to appear today at the hearing. That shows cowardice on his part, no? The administrator gets his monthly commission, and the owner collects the rent, both without any responsibility for the living conditions.

The tenant offered a visit to see the condition of his apartment because he said it's much better. I asked at the hearing for a signed agreement to clean-up the garden in 30 days, and the apartment within 60 days. He refused to sign anything. Mediation goes no further. If he thinks I'm going to give up, he doesn't know how determined I am after 16 years knowing his apartment; I'm not going to move. The fumigation service is never allowed to spray for insects. He probably has dead rats inside the apartment. I have first-hand testimony from another tenant in the building who assisted with cutting down a huge avocado tree in the garden, that he shook the branches and rats fell from them. I'm certain he can tell the difference between rats and avocados.
 
#54
I've learned over the course of 20 years in Buenos Aires, that Argentines go on the offensive, making accusations and threats to the one who points out a serious problem
This is a quite common (among humans) maladaptive, emotionally immature psychological defense (accentuated or normalized in certain cultures). I am glad that you recognized it and remained focused on your objective. I admire you for your perseverance.
 
#55
My next step with the problem tenant in the building is to send a carta documento to the owner. I began by searching how to write the carta documento and discovered a very informative site on consumer protection with examples, advice, and forms to use. You name it, it's probably listed in the CATEGORIAS where you can choose a subject and find examples related to your problem from credit cards, stolen personal data banks, guarantees, etc. The site is PORTAL DEL CONSUMIDOR PROTECTORA. If it relates to the consumer, they write about it.

A friend received a gas bill for 8,000+ in the provincia where the family is not home all day long and they don't use gas heat in the house during the winter months. She is in the process of asking for a "social" tariff to reduce the bill she can't pay. I found information on this site about what documents she must present and a form letter to complete that I will share with her.
 
#56
Our administrator notified us by letter two weeks in advance that she was calling a meeting of the consorcio so that she complied with the agreement we signed at the mediation hearing at Comuna 3 on October 30. Said meeting was held two days ago.

The meeting began with the election of an owner as president of the meeting, who did not act in that capacity. Then the election of an owner who would sign as secretary of the meeting, who did not record the minutes but signed them. The administrator took charge of both. Then the election of the owners’ council. I nominated a new owner who is young to serve, but he refused. Two senior men who told me several times they did not want to serve on the council, volunteered. One man added the name of another owner who was not present, and who was on the council for several years. She has done nothing as a member of the council, yet is on it again.

The next item of business was the registration of the owner’s signatures in the owners book, a legal record of the signature for each apartment which the administrator must present at each meeting of the consorcio. Let’s face it, administrators are responsible for many buildings and don’t know the owners by name and don’t ask them to identify themselves for the benefit of all. She made a point of saying that she was asking the owners to sign the book, but couldn’t make them do it. She allowed one heir to sign the minutes (libro de actas). I passed the book to the man seated next to me who has been an owner for 30 years and never bothered to sign the book. He had the proxy of another owner absent from the meeting whose signature doesn’t appear in the book, hence the proxy was invalid but accepted for the meeting. The young, new owner refused to sign the book when I passed it to him at the table. Only two owners present signed the book, and two refused or ignored the obligation. The administration can only accept a proxy from an owner allowing another person to vote after checking the owner’s signature with that of the proxy (carta poder). The administrator told everyone that she had to call the meeting or be subject to fines. Wrong, she could be sanctioned and lose her work. Even she didn’t take this seriously.

The consorcio has several owners in default on their expenses. The administrator doesn’t make any effort to contact them and collect the money. This was the first time they had to work out a payment schedule -- debt elimination was part of the mediation agreement. Either we collect the debts promptly or we have to increase the amount of monthly expenses.

I offered to store the consorcio files for easy access, but since everyone is against me for trying to improve our building, they voted that the administrator keep them. I asked about what files she has, and she admitted she doesn’t have any idea of the contents of two boxes. Once again I told her that I want to see our records for the year 2017 from the previous administrator who robbed us blind. Several owners have told me personally they are disappointed with this administrator after six months and want to find a new one in March 2019. They’ll probably change their mind. She’s not going to work for us. She ignores all my emails. When the new apartment owner talked about his debt because the previous owner did not pay the expenses as of the sale date, the administrator had no idea about what he was talking about. He and I both sent her several emails with documentation. I concluded that the administrator doesn’t read her emails. It’s her job to know what is going on, but with 30 buildings she can't keep her head above water.

It is common that when a property owner dies, an heir lives in the property for years without ever doing a transfer of title which requires paying a lawyer or escribano. The excuse is always, it costs too much, and I don't have the money. Heirs rent out the property and collect the rent for years without finding a way to do a transfer of title. That way, the heir is not the legal owner and not responsible for any problems. This is a big problem in Argentina. Get the benefits, without any responsibility.

Sealing the outside walls on the top floor has been on the urgent list of things to do for years. Three of the four apartments have black walls from mildew that is a health hazard, especially for the infants that live in these apartments. Once again the need for repair was mentioned, but no plan was proposed. The administrator knew about this when she began in March from my emails to her. Her response was I’ll send someone over to see the problem and give us an estimate for the work. We’re still waiting for action.

I'm going to follow up with someone at Comuna 3 and ask if the results of the meeting comply with the terms of the mediation agreement. In my opinion, they do not.
 
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#57
On Monday, I went to Comuna 3 to talk with Fernanda Boti who handles the consumer protection cases. It's helpful that she speaks English. I told her about the consorcio meeting that was run by the administrator, not the president, nor recorded by the secretary. The administrator knows nothing about proper procedure and how she is supposed to do her job.

Fernanda said, "all administrators are the same. The don't follow the law. All consorcios have problems with their administrators." The only time they are sanctioned and lose their registration is if a consorcio files a case against the administrator in court. They pay fines and continue doing nothing as administrators.

She advised me to send a carta documento to the administrator stating that if she doesn't want to do her job for us, she should resign. That is what I plan to do. The meeting was totally illegal. One owner had a carta poder from another owner which gave him the right to vote in the absence of the other. Neither one signed the book of owners, so neither could participate in the meeting. The consorcio hasn't operated by the rules since we had a decent administration. These people go along with whatever happens without question. They expect the administrator to take care of everything without any direction.

If there is anyone who knows a competent administrator personally who doesn't just take the money and run, please advise. My option is to go to Juan Peron 3175 and find a responsible administrator there, that is, if one exists.

Now I have two carta documentos to write. A year ago the fee at the post office was $296ars.