15 July 2016
On July 12 Federal Law No. 13,312, which calls for the individual measurement of water consumption in new condominium buildings was sanctioned and published( "Law 13,312").
A concern with the conscious use of natural resources increasingly stimulates the creation of social, educational and financial solutions, which result in a lower impact of human activity on the environment. In this regard, it is undeniable that Law 13,312 was based off environmental concerns, since it aims to encourage the rational and sustainable use of water by condominium members.
Currently, many condominiums still have collective measurement of water consumption, which in addition to encouraging wasteful usage, harms those condominium members who choose to use the resource consciously and sparingly, since the fee charged is not proportional to the amount of water actually consumed by each condominium member.
Law 13,312 shall come into force in five years after the date of its publication in the Official Federal Gazette , i.e. only in July 2021. The rule set forth in the Law will apply only in relation to new condominium buildings, therefore, other condominium buildings constructed or established prior to that term which utilize the collective measurement model of water consumption will not be affected, without prejudice, however, to any specific provisions on the contrary that may arise from supervening legislation.
It is worth mentioning, finally, that Law 13,312 did not restrict its application to any condominium category (residential, mixed use, industrial etc.) nor did it establish sanctions for condominiums that fail to comply with its regulations. Thus, from a critical perspective, we should consider how Law 13,312 dealt with a relevant and interdisciplinary matter with a certain degree of superficiality, therefore making discussions arising from loopholes in its text inevitable.
Observations in this update about Brazilian law are by Tauil & Chequer Advogados and are not intended to provide legal advice. Any entity considering the possibility of a transaction must seek advice tailored to its particular circumstances.