The Problematic of Utilization in the Apartment Ownership Act
Dr. Saleh Nasser Al Otaibi
Associate Professor of Private Law – Kuwait International Law School
The apartment ownership act is considered an appropriate solution to the scarcity of land suitable for construction; apartments are built on a small land area, whether for residential, commercial or investment purposes. Despite the fact that its legislative organization in Kuwait dates back to the mid-seventies, it has only recently spread when some real estate companies have erected buildings in order to sell their apartments to citizens at prices that commensurate with their financial capacity and their need to own property in interior regions. This housing mode was adopted by the Public Authority For Housing Welfare in some of its housing schemes as a solution to the increasing number of requests from citizens who are seeking access to housing as soon as possible and in locations close to the city.
The research revealed a legislative deficiency in the Kuwaiti Civil Law regarding the regulation of the apartment ownership act, especially when dealing with the owners’ utilization of the common areas such as the building’s entrance, yards, elevators and stairs. The legal rules governing the utilization of common property are no longer adequate, since we are dealing with a common property that cannot be divided. Thus, the only solution was to resort to the system of the Homeowners’ Association to regulate the utilization of the common areas, which leads to a beneficial use of the detached areas, that is, the apartments. In this research, we found that although the organization of the Homeowners’ Association was regulated in detail by the Amiri Decree of 24/1/1981, it collides with the fact that resorting to it is optional for the owners, which leads to the loss of its practical values in addition to the absence of an official body to oversee its application. In order to demonstrate the importance of the Homeowners’ Association, the study will compare between the Kuwaiti law and the Egyptian law, using the comparative analytical approach.
Keywords: Common property, common areas, detached areas, Homeowners, Association, residents’ association.