Hanging in the payment of a debt is a problem for the default interest that must be paid and for the legal charges that may be involved. Debts in joint ownership are no exception.

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Law 675 of 2001 establishes the norms that govern horizontal properties in Colombia. This law establishes that «every owner of a private property subject to the horizontal property regime (including the initial owner), must contribute to the payment of common expenses caused by the administration and the provision of the essential common services required for the existence, security and conservation of the common goods of the building or complex».

In addition, it stipulates that this «contribution must be made taking into account the co-ownership coefficient that has been determined in the regulation for each privately owned asset.»

However, according to the company Copropiedades, Law 675 of 2001 did not address the means and forms of payment of common expenses and does not establish payment mechanisms in such a case of delay, it only limits itself to indicating the executive procedure to be followed succinctly. to pursue its collection, a function that lies in the legal representative of the co-ownership, that is, the administrator».

Interest is very expensive.

Thus, -adds Copropiedades-, the administrator is the one who is empowered to «collect and collect, directly or through proxies, ordinary and extraordinary fees, fines, and in general, any pecuniary obligation in charge of the owners or occupants of assets in the private domain of the building or complex, promptly initiating the judicial collection of the same, without the need for any authorization”.

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EL TIEMPO consulted an administrator of several residential complexes about this issue. She explained that administrators are allowed to charge delinquent debtors up to the maximum of usury or 1.5 times the current bank interest. However, in the assembly of co-owners -which is the highest instance of a co-ownership- decisions can be made in this regard.

The other possibility is that the co-ownership regulation establishes the way in which the interest to be paid by delinquent debtors must be calculated.

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