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Personal liability of the chairman of the JVU or other statutory body

The duties of a member of the committee of an owners’ association or, for example, the chairman of a housing association is a role that should not be underestimated.

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If you accept this role, you must become a proper steward. You will look after the common property as if it were your own. If you don’t have the strength or the time, don’t accept the position. You risk personal liability, including your property and, in extreme cases, prosecution.

In one small community in Vysočany, Prague, for example, we have seen that the committee has officially decided that there will be no fire extinguishers in the building, that fire standards will not be observed, and that the doors in the stairwell, which provide the only access to half of the apartments, will be permanently locked with no other emergency exit. We warned them that in the event of a fire (for whatever reason), committee members could be liable not only for damages, but theoretically for criminal negligence. Yet they didn’t take the hint, they were afraid of thieves and didn’t want to invest in any measure, however simple. The fire hasn’t broken out yet, but by then it will be too late.

Also, another example is that of Mrs. Milena, who accepted the position of the chairperson of the JVU, however, she did not have the time to do so and only took it as a duty to call a meeting once a year. Complications arose when she was attacked by a neighbour for an overpriced investment for the repair of the lift, in which she did not even participate much. He even filed a lawsuit against her, claiming damages that she should have caused.

Lawyer for HOA and housing cooperatives

We will provide you with a lawyer for HOA or housing cooperative for 6 or 12 months. He or she will be available at any time to represent you in court or with the authorities and help you with any legal issue. All this for a price you know in advance and the option to pay after the service is completed.

By accepting an office, a person becomes personally liable for damage caused in connection with the performance of that office. This is basic information for every officer of an HOA. He cannot absolve himself of this liability by any contract or by hiring a professional management company.

A typical example of property risk for the statutory bodies of an HOA is procrastination in the recovery of debts. If a claim becomes statute-barred through his fault, for example, this can turn against the pocket of the committee or board member concerned.

In this case, there is no excuse for ignorance, lack of education or lack of time. You need to consider whether you will have the time and the necessary concentration to carry out your duties. It is also advisable to archive all communications and have everything relevant confirmed in an email so that it can be proven in the future.

It is then advisable to consult with a solicitor or other specific professional and have all significant actions and decisions confirmed by a membership meeting or assembly. This will save a lot of unnecessary stress, expense, paperwork or other problems.

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Lawyer for HOA and housing cooperatives

We will provide you with a lawyer for HOA or housing cooperative for 6 or 12 months. He or she will be available at any time to represent you in court or with the authorities and help you with any legal issue. All this for a price you know in advance and the option to pay after the service is completed.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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