Building Associations In Japan
December 8, 2018

Before you go ahead and purchase an apartment in Japan, you should make yourself familiar with the building management association and its functioning.

Similar to a home owners’ association in the US, a building management association in Japan includes the owners of all apartments in a building and is essentially tasked with all important decision-making formalities of the property.

HEIRARCHY

The building management association (BMA) entails decision-making regarding the daily building operations, common area usage and use of repair reserve fund, i.e., an amount that’s paid by all owners mandatorily in addition to the management fee.

In pursuit of having an unbiased and regulated association, apartment owners jointly elect a board of members to lead the association with a Chairman, who also doubles up as a representing truant or an owner who is overseas to vote on property matters. This association can also be formed with the involvement of professionals on a permanent basis which results in a high management fee.

MEETINGS & AGENDA

A usual meeting agenda on the BMA’s list of things to work on includes incorporating a building management society, the election thereof, re-election or electing a replacement of a board member, disciplinary actions against non-appearance of board members for meetings, quality control on sharing details for media coverage or media presence during meetings, the use and rotation of the repair reserve funds, share station usage in terms of available facilities like laundry, sale of water or grocery items, sharing utilities, leisure activities and their associated fee asks, parking space management and renting un-used parking spaces to third party vendors, repair and replacement work, et all.

The building management association normally initiates meetings & voting hearings multiple times in a year by sending out relevant documents citing your representation for the voting process. Depending on their availability or absenteeism one can choose to go with either of the two options here –

Most condo owners either share the power of attorney to the board Chairman to vote on their behalf for effective decision-making;

Opt for individual votes on specific matters related to their property. The first option is much preferred by owners who are stationed overseas.

VOTING PROCESS

A BMA can operate with its elected board members or opt for a property manager at the time of voting. The process entails filling a requisite form that acts like an Owner representation form for voting. For any voting decision, it is imperative to have a minimum of 50% votes, and at least 75% votes required for more critical decisions. Should a de-conversion or rebuilding of the property is imminent, then the requirement increases to 80% votes in Japan.

KEYWORDS: Japanese building management association, facility management association in Japan, Japan property management

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