Senator urges transfer of jurisdiction over condos to courts
By The Star Staff
Carolina District Sen. Marissa “Marissita” Jiménez Santoni, joined the request of residents of condominiums and walkups to transfer jurisdiction over complaints associated with Law 129-2020, better known as the Condominium Law of Puerto Rico, to the Courts Administration Office.
“It’s time to change how things are done in relation to which entity deals with complaints from residents of housing units in condominiums and walkups,” the New Progressive Party senator said. “Currently, the Department of Consumer Affairs [DACO by its Spanish acronym] has jurisdiction over conflicts arising from this type of property; however, due to the complexity of some cases and the need to recruit more technical staff, it is difficult for that agency to complete the process expeditiously. The courts have the capacity and expertise to hear cases, always protecting the rights of all, more quickly.”
According to available data, there are around 8,000 horizontal housing complexes. Of those, about 4,500 are under the jurisdiction of DACO through Law 129-2020 and its two subsequent amendments, Law 83-2021 and Law 50-2023.
“In the Senate there are several bills, such as Senate Bill 843, authored by fellow Senator Keren Riquelme, which establishes an alternative expedited adjudicative process to address controversies in condominiums, similar to the judicial process of summary judgment, and places a fixed term of 60 days to resolve controversies, then it would go to court,” Jiménez Santoni said. “This is a good basis to start, because the reality is that it is not fair to wait years to settle a complaint.”
“Meanwhile, the President of the Senate recently filed a measure, by petition, that moves the jurisdiction over condominiums from DACO to the courts,” she added. “That’s another way to work it and we’re okay with that. We urge the Senate to act on both pieces of legislation with the urgency that the situation deserves.”