Persons who have purchased duplexes or condominiums from the state will soon be able to access the titled document for their properties, as the Condominium Bill 2022 was tabled in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
The Bill was presented by Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal during the 46th Sitting of the Twelfth Parliament at the Arthur Chung Conference Center (ACCC).
With six parts and 65 clauses, the Bill makes provision for the horizontal and vertical subdivision of land and buildings into units for individual ownership, and for the use and management of condominiums.
Among other things, the Bill paves the way for commercial banks to accept titles for the properties, and insurance companies to issue policies to owners of condominiums. Clause 19 of the Bill states that units in a condominium constitute the immovable property, while Clause 20 provides for the title of ownership of a condominium unit.
Clause 44 empowers unit owners to insure their respective units. The Bill also requires that proposed declarations and descriptions of units be approved by the Minister before a condominium is constructed, or before an existing building is converted into a condominium. It also empowers the Minister to approve, reject, or direct the amendment of a proposed declaration and description.
The crafting and tabling of such a Bill fulfills the promise of the PPP/C Government, made after it was discovered that the former Coalition Administration had constructed duplexes (a home with two individually-owned units in one building) without amending the relevant legislation that guides the regulation of such properties.
In an interview with DPI last year, Minister Croal spoke of the importance of the Bill as the Government continues to push its aggressive national housing programme. He anticipates there will be a demand for condominiums and duplexes with the advent of the oil and gas sector and a growing interest by investors and developers to construct condominium schemes.
“Our current Act does not cater for that type of construction. We have more of the single ownership… We cannot accommodate a condominium scheme because the necessary legislation for those was not amended, so all of that will be catered for,” he explained.
The Bill was crafted by the Ministry of Housing and Water and the Attorney General’s Chambers. It forms part of the Government’s legislative agenda which is directed towards a revamp of many of the archaic and outmoded laws of the country, as well as to lay the foundation for the economic development anticipated to take place in the very near future.