Apartments in the mountain. A story of one transaction — Part 1 Apartments in the mountain. A story of one transaction — Part 2 Apartments in the mountain. A story of one transaction — Part 3
So, the battle for property is won. Let’s have a look at the battlefield, i.e.our apartments, the building and the entire territory of the complex. What would you like to see after an exciting day on the slopes? Would not it be nice to walk right in the boots only 200 meters along neatly cleared walkways sprinkled with sand straight to the apartment building, not being afraid of falling or tripping over potholes, not dodging icicles threatening to fall (even though we admit they look beautiful in the sun). It would be convenient to leave skis and boots in the ski depot, run in comfy slippers along a clean corridor to your room, where you have a hot bath, where you can watch TV or surf the Internet – a place where your finally rest after an active day, and where everything works as it supposed to: you don’t have to wait for a hot water in the shower for half an hour, the Internet is via high-speed and stable Wi-Fi, and not though mobile data on your phone. Would not that be great?! We thought so too, and went to a local property management company. Here we fell into the caring hands of a developer’s affiliate company. And – surprise-surprise – that property management company is the only one to provide services in the complex. There is no alternative at the moment.
According to Georgian legislation, if over a half of the owners in the building agree, they can create a partnership and manage the property themselves or hire a professional management company. But in reality not all apartments were transferred to their buyrs, and not all of them registered their ownership, and the owners are scattered all over the world… Simply, too many things required attention, but owners didn’t want to lose money in the upcoming season due to the difficulties in operation
We were ready, that the Service Agreement will not awe us with its attention to details and high customer service approach, but, on the other hand, the management company took the question of price of services very seriously: 2.5$ per sqm a month with an 100% advanced payment. And yes, the contract is for 5 years with management company liability of 100 GEL a year (around 30$), and obligations… Well, they are put very vague in the contract.
If you’re used to clean and safe walkways, having a manager’s number on speed dial, who is ready to call a plumber or an electrician 24/7, and taking a hot shower in the morning,give up your hopes… It turns out that the communication between management company and the owners has been a sleeping volcano for years. The history speaks of several crusades and partisan outings in an attempt to restore justice initiated by group of apartment owners. Management company was using disunity between the owners and the real monopolist’s position in its advantage, and continued to play the King of the Hill. Signing the agreement in the proposed wording (the ones who read it in Russian, especially were touched by phrases such as “hot water for the face”) seemed ridiculous, and we decided to go along a civilized path.
Acting in the interests of our clients, we draw an agreement draft, which described in detail all the services to be provided under the agreement, the order of action of the parties in case of emergencies, claims for poor service provision, reporting, and rights and liabilities of the parties. Regular agreement articles, you know. A meeting with the property management company to discuss our version was scheduled. But from the first minutes of that meeting it was made clear to us, that there is a dead end in discussing our version of the agreement. Three weeks of regular meetings passed by, and we have reached some understanding and found a common ground with our opponents, as a result the term of contract was reduced to 1 year, and the payment was broken down in 3 transactions. We also had to admit that even if our contract was drawn in accordance with international standards of the service levels, the real service will be only the one our management company can provide…
While lawyers were negotiating the terms of service agreement, company managers have been sending out respectful ultimatums to sing the contract in its original version and threatening with disconnecting of resources. Our call not to take extreme actions during the negotiations was not heard by the management company. Those, who refused to sign an absurd service agreement, were disconnected from water supply and heating. Reception stopped issuing keys to the apartments, restricting access to owners’ property. And this, just a reminder, is illegal. Claims drawn up on the fact of violations were either refused or were left unattended on the table. This story is just a tip of an iceberg, and under the waterline an active resistance to Redco’s mayhem is taking place: here and there initiative groups of owners form, statements to the prosecutor’s office and tax authorities are filed… The finale of that saga will be on Tuesday based on the results of the final meeting with the general manager of property management company.) And for now, I wish you a good and cozy weekend. Remember that life is beautiful!