Red tape main cause of house dilapidation, says manager

Take note – story published 1 year and 2 months ago

Owners of apartments face similar problems to the cracked Valdemāra Street buildings throughout Rīga, the biggest Rīga housing manager (Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks, RNP) told Latvian Radio February 20. A situation where people have to leave their home is due to red tape: the improvements needed for the building require the consent of the majority of the inhabitants.

There are approximately 12,000 apartment buildings in Riga. Most were built in the past century. This means that most buildings have reached their average lifetime - a time when owners have to assess the technical state of the house every year. It may be done without special expert examination, but, if necessary, experts can be invited.

When the owners of the building cannot agree on a survey or work to be carried out, the residents shall refer complaints to the municipality.

Aija Meļņikova, deputy head of the Riga City Council's Construction Facility Control Division, said complaints are often received. Most often – from the residents of two-story wooden buildings and other historic buildings built in the twenties or thirties of the last century.

Several buildings managed by the RNP are in poor condition, said Igors Trubko, chairman of the company's board. Citizens are increasingly seeking help from the manager.

“It wasn't so tragic last year because they [owners] sorted it out. [..] We have a renovation for a house at Krāslavas Street 21, and we also found a hazard when we started work. We have a terrible situation at Maskavas 137 but the people have even voted that they would pay a credit of €5 per square meter to rebuild the house,” Trubko said.

It is the activity of the population that is crucial to avoid situations where homes are uninhabitable

Trubko said there are loopholes in the law – building-improvement jobs require the consent of most apartment owners.

“It's not normal to collect 51% signatures all the time. We believe we could call a meeting, if people don't come, a second meeting, and whoever comes and votes in favor, [decides] and the building authority should accept the document,” Trubko said.


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