Representation of unit owner at assembly

(Decision of the Supreme Court from 23 May 2012, file no. 29 Cdo 3399/2010)

Members of association of unit owners (in Czech: společenství vlastníků jednotek, SVJ) removed members of the governing body of SVJ (committee), who were members of SVJ as well, and also plaintiffs in this case. This happened at the assembly of association of unit owners, when some of the members were represented based on proxy. Present members also elected new members of the committee at the same time.

In reaction to the removal, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in order to make the assembly’s resolution invalid. They contested the way of convening the assembly as well as the course of the assembly. Act no. 72/1994 Coll., on residential unit ownership (effective until 31 December 2013) applied to the case.

The Supreme Court dealt with question whether a member of SVJ can be represented at the assembly by other person. According to its interpretation, the right to attend the assembly needs to be considered as a personal right, not as a legal act (e.g. exercise of voting right). Thus it is not possible to use general provisions of the Civil Code on representation. The right to be represented at the assembly has to be set in the articles of association of SVJ. The articles of association can also restrict this right (e.g. it is possible to be represented only by another member of SVJ). If this right is not set in the articles of association, it is not possible to grant a proxy to be represented at the assembly.