Published in the Official Gazette on March 9, 2022, Law 14,309/22 amended the Civil Code to allow conversion of condominium meetings into permanent sessions (paragraphs 1, 2, and 3, of article 1,353, Civil Code) and allow the convening, holding, and resolution of any type of meeting by electronic or hybrid form (article 1,354-A).

The legal permission for virtual condominium meetings was already a trend since the enactment of Law 13,777/18, which included in the Civil Code the normative provision (article 1,358-Q, VIII), whereby, when a condominium adopts the multi-ownership system, its bylaws must provide for the "holding of non-presence meetings, including by electronic means."

In the same vein, virtual meetings were exceptionally allowed until October 30, 2020, by Law 14,010/20, which instituted transitional and emergency rules for the regulation of private law legal relations due to the covid-19 pandemic. After the end of the period, however, there was no longer any legal support for this possibility, unless expressly provided for in the condominium agreement.

The legislative innovation changed the scenario and opened the definitive possibility of holding virtual or hybrid meetings, as long as these modalities are not prohibited by the condominium’s agreement and the condominium's owners are guaranteed the right to speak, debate, and vote, maintaining an environment in which all participants can participate, even if virtually.

Once the electronic or hybrid form of holding the meeting is adopted, the condominium must include this information in the call notice, in addition to providing instructions for access, taking the floor, and collecting votes.

For the purpose of conducting the meeting, the documents pertinent to the agenda may be made available to the participants in physical or electronic form. The minutes must also be drawn up electronically, but only after all the votes have been summed up and made public, at which point the meeting shall be adjourned.

Just like in-person meetings, virtual or hybrid meetings must observe the minimum legal and contractual quorums for calls to order and resolutions.

Joint owners may decide to include complementary rules concerning electronic meetings in the bylaws, upon approval by a simple majority in a meeting called for this purpose. On this issue, a source of inspiration is DREI Normative Instruction 79/20which brings in great rules for operation digital meetings, possibly usable by condominiums.

The long-awaited legislative change is the possibility of converting the meeting into a permanent session when the resolution requires a special quorum provided by law or agreement and this quorum is not reached. This is what happens, for example, in the case of resolutions to change the agreements, which require approval of 2/3 of the joint owners' votes, or to change the use of common areas, when unanimous approval by the joint owners is required.

For this to be possible, the following requirements are necessary, cumulatively:

  • the majority of those present decide on conversion;
  • the date and time of the follow-up session, which may not exceed 60 days, are indicated;
  • those present and the absent units are summoned in the manner provided for in the agreement;
  • the partial minutes are drawn up and sent to all unit owners, present and absent;
  • on the appointed day and time, the deliberations continue, in the same minutes that were partially drafted.

The votes given in the first session will be registered, without the need for the owners to appear again to confirm them. If they are present at the next meeting, the owners can request that their votes be changed.

The permanent session may be extended as many times as necessary, provided that the meeting is completed within 90 days.

Long awaited, these innovations accompany the evolution of society and come at a good time to allow owners and purchasers of autonomous units in condominiums with access to technology and the world wide web to actively participate in the deliberations of the meetings, even if at a distance. In addition, the changes provide condominium building managers with more tools and legal security to conduct their work.