Consumer Protection Agency in Buenos Aires

jantango

Registered
The level of incompetence from our consorcio administrator is unbelievable. She decided to give herself a raise in salary for the last three months of her first year term. I pointed it out to her in an email, and she continued robbing the consorcio. She doesn't pay our bills before the first expiration date, so we are charged interest. I could go on and on about the worst administrator in the city -- Marta Fernanda Villagra. Don't let your consorcio hire this woman.

I tried unsuccessfully last week to file yet another complaint against her for ignoring the consorcio's request to take action against a renter who is operating a business in the building, contrary to the rules of the consorcio. For the past 8 months, a woman has received male clients at all hours of the day and night. Owners signed a petition to contact the person who rents out the apartment (he's not the owner, but the heir and an attorney). The petition was sent three times to the administrator, and nothing was done over the course of two months.

The Consumer Protection Agency has new requirements for filing a complaint against an administrator and a new list of reasons. They receive many complaints against administrators because it's a mafia that gets away with almost everything, yet they deny a request to receive a valid complaint with documentation. I was sorry to see that the woman I talked with in English for more than a year, on this an other reports, is no longer working in Comuna 3.

If anyone wants to file a complaint against an administrator, here are the requisites to make a report (more required than in 2018).

1. a photocopy of your DNI
2. a photocopy of your last ABL bill with your name and address as owner
3. the last two expense liquidations for your consorcio and a copy of the last two paid receipts for the expenses.
4. a list of points for the report prepared on a computer containing the details of the administrator and a photocopy of the Minutes of the meeting that designated the person as Administrator. The administrator is guardian of the Libro de Actas. ( Ours does not provide copies of the minutes attached to the meeting agenda as required.)
5. documentation proving what you want to report.
6. present all the above in orginals and copies.

I wanted to upload two pages of information you need to make a report, but the documents are too large for uploading here. Send me a PM if you need them or they can be obtained at your Comuna from the Proteccion al Consumidor staff.
 

jantango

Registered
The building is a disaster after 53 years without any exterior maintenance to the structure. After 17 years in the apartment, I'm not interested in moving just to avoid the worst administrator in the city and all the resident owners who aren't interested in maintaining the building. Lack of money is their constant excuse since there is never a reserve fund for emergencies. This is typical throughout the city. People just don't care how they live. They close their eyes to reality. They don't care what goes on. They don't even read the expense summaries. This consorcio lets the administrator make all decisions, forgetting that she is an employee paid by the consorcio.

I am certain there are others who have the same situation in their building. Moving to a new building doesn't solve the problem when so many are in the same situation. You don't know how it will be until you live in a building for several months, and then you find the same thing in a new place. There is no full disclosure about the state of the consorcio or the building. Let the buyer beware, especially in CABA.
 

nikad

Registered
The building is a disaster after 53 years without any exterior maintenance to the structure. After 17 years in the apartment, I'm not interested in moving just to avoid the worst administrator in the city and all the resident owners who aren't interested in maintaining the building. Lack of money is their constant excuse since there is never a reserve fund for emergencies. This is typical throughout the city. People just don't care how they live. They close their eyes to reality. They don't care what goes on. They don't even read the expense summaries. This consorcio lets the administrator make all decisions, forgetting that she is an employee paid by the consorcio.

I am certain there are others who have the same situation in their building. Moving to a new building doesn't solve the problem when so many are in the same situation. You don't know how it will be until you live in a building for several months, and then you find the same thing in a new place. There is no full disclosure about the state of the consorcio or the building. Let the buyer beware, especially in CABA.
I have been in charge of my building's consejo de propietarios for almost a year now. The building manager was not keeping anything in good, shape, etc. I got him removed and we named a new building manager. After 20 years of lack of maintenance, we are now starting to do all the much needed work and everything is being closely monitored, etc. We have 80 apartments in the building. I am not sure whether you own or rent, but if you need any help, send me a message.
 

gracielle

Registered
....I am certain there are others who have the same situation in their building. Moving to a new building doesn't solve the problem when so many are in the same situation. You don't know how it will be until you live in a building for several months, and then you find the same thing in a new place. There is no full disclosure about the state of the consorcio or the building. Let the buyer beware, especially in CABA.
The alternative is to buy a PH. In ARG, a PH is a Horizontal Property of several apartments on the ground floor with a common corridor whereby each owner is legally bound by the Reglamento de Copropiedad of said building. I am partial to those buildings with 6 or less units. That eliminates the cost of upkeep of an elevator and the requirement to hire an administrator and/or an encargado.

I speak from experience as I am the owner of a PH since 2005 which meets those conditions. In our building the "administration" is done by the 6 owners pro bono on a yearly rotating basis. None of the units are rented. The only common areas: the exterior structure, the main entrance door, the interior hallway and the sidewalk. This year, and for a second term, it is my turn to manage.

Responsibilities:
1. supervise the lady who cleans the sidewalk, purchase the cleaning supplies and pay her at the end of the month.
2. pay the Edesur electricity bill monthly for the hallway lights.
3. deal with the local CGP, Edesur, Metrogas, Aysa and the administrators of the adjacent buildings to resolve issues/problems that pertain to the common areas.
4. issue a statement of expenses at the end of the month and collect the percentage allocated to each owner based on the number of square meters of their unit.
5. Obtain estimates from the licensed plumber/gasista, electricians, painters, etc when the need arises. Put the matter to a vote, collect in advance the percentage allocated to each owner as we do not have a reserve fund. Supervise the hired workers.

Is life perfect in this type of cohabiting? Not a chance...but it's certainly can be less complicated and more manageable.
I would never purchase an apt in "mega" building.
 

jantango

Registered
With the new Civil code it is fairly simple to remove the current manager and name a new one.
We had one year experience with our current administrator doing nothing, yet at the annual meeting, April 23, there was no vote about continuing her contract or not because everyone is afraid of speaking out unless it's to complain about me. I had our previous administration (a lawyer) ready to take over again for us after nine years. She resigned abruptly after weeks of harassment from an owner's girlfriend. We've had bad management ever since. I've written numerous emails about all the problems with the current administrator, but I don't have the power to remove the current administrator alone. It requires action by the consorcio. They would rather not say anything about a bad one (who is robbing us) than change to our previous one.

We have no owner's council, because no one wants any responsibility for anything. The building has 16 apartments, five of which without owners, only heirs who collect rent and don't pay the expenses. The consorcio never has a reserve fund to handle projects. The meetings are run and recorded by the administrator who takes charge making decisions. The owners allow it. I've yet to see a meeting in 17 years run by an owner of the building who sets the agenda, asks for motions, and takes a vote according to Robert's Rules of Order. These people are clueless.

Gracielle, your situation sounds wonderful to me.
 
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jantango

Registered
One year after my previous post, I was contacted by another owner whose consorcio is dealing with the same incompetent administrator for seven years. He found me through my forum post since I included her full name. We have had two personal meetings to discuss our consorcio problems and are in regular contact. He has given me invaluable help and encouragement to pursue legal action against the administrator who acts as if she is the CEO of our consorcio with the authority to make all the decisions on how to spend consorcio funds. I am the only one who questions the actions of the administrator who is supposed to carry out the decisions of the owners. By the way, we haven't had an annual meeting in two years. I requested one a month ago when I hand-delivered the agenda for the April 23 meeting, but my request was ignored by the administrator. No one has seen the consorcio records for two or possibly three years, so there has been no audit of the how she is mismanaging our money.

My contact gave me the name of a lawyer who specializes in consorcio matters. In our first phone call, she requested her fee of $6000 ($45US for me) which I transferred to her account. She acknowledged receipt and sent me her bill as confirmation. Our first meeting was Saturday night for 90 minutes by phone. She requested consorcio documents (last two liquidations, Reglamento de propietarios y administration, etc.) that I will send by email for her review. Then she will arrange a meeting via Skype to discuss the situation.

If your consorcio is dealing with the same kind of situation, here is her contact information.

Dra. Silvia Marcela Bercovsky
Abogada. UBA. CPACF.
Asesora Jurídica Consorcios y Auditora Legal.
Móvil: 15-5049-8440
 

jantango

Registered
Dra. Bercovsky called today to set up a video call on Skype after reviewing all the documents I sent her by email. An hour later we had our Skype call for 90 minutes. She explained the law and gives her counsel on what needs to be done. It was easier to understand her in a Skype video call than on a cellphone. She confirmed many things I thought the administrator was handling incorrectly. She explains everything thoroughly. I will do another transfer of $6,000 to her for preparing a carta documento to the administrator on all the topics we discussed.

The building hasn't been maintained during the 19 years I've lived in it. The administrators don't increase the monthly expenses so the consorcio never has money. Dra. Bercovsky pointed out that if the building is not maintained, the value of the apartments for sale or rent is less. That fact is obvious to me, but the owners don't understand. She said that we should be paying double the amount of current expenses to maintain the building.

Another item of information from Dra. Bercovsky that I'd like to pass along is that the consorcio owners can hold a meeting themselves to remove an administrator with two-thirds of the owners present at the meeting. This isn't an option for our consorcio since we don't have the required number of owners, let alone enough who would vote for removal. Several who have owned units for decades have yet to sign the Libro de Registro de Propietarios, a requirement to attend and vote at consorcio meetings.

Adminstrators are required to renew their registration annually with the city. I found our administrator was supposed to renew her "matricula" by July 12, 2020. She finally got around to it on April 26, 2021
 
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