Historical review of the Promoter in Panamanian legislation

Actualizado: abr 26

In the past, the owner of the land and owner of the improvements (real estate units) were known, he was known as the “Casero”, citing norms of the last decades of the 20th century, that owner of the property called “Casero” who ventured to financing and constructing in most cases, leasing buildings, controlled and administered everything and as such, was responsible for the maintenance, conservation and administration of the land and the improvements built on it.



El sector construcción es uno de los principales motores de la economía en Panamá


In the middle of the last century, the same professionals, architects and engineers, who participated in the construction industry, also ventured as landlords. These professionals assumed, at their own risk and financing, the design and construction of the civil works that they later maintained, preserved and administered in accordance with the legal framework of the lease, also regulated by the Civil Code and later by special laws, offering and granting only the temporary use of the units under lease. It was not until 1970 (law 33 of 1952, which served as an inspiration) was also important, that the condominium law was passed, which in 1993 became, with the necessary modifications, the Horizontal Property Law. Thus, the composition of the important actors in the development of civil works or managers of the preliminary project is being refined and, likewise, the legal scheme of horizontal property is deployed, using as a source of inspiration the Spanish Civil Code, which expresses the following in article 396:


"The different floors or premises of a building or the parts of them susceptible of independent use for having their own exit to a common element of that or to the public thoroughfare may be the object of separate property, which will carry an inherent right of co-ownership over the common elements of the building, which are all necessary for its proper use and enjoyment, such as the ground, flight, foundations and roofs; structural elements and among them the pillars, beams, slabs and load-bearing walls; the facades, with the external coverings of terraces, balconies and windows, including their image or configuration, the closing elements that make them up, and their external coverings; the portal, the stairs, goals, corridors, passages, walls, moats, patios, wells and the rooms intended for elevators, warehouses, meters, telephones and other common services or facilities, including those for private use; elevators and installations, pipes and pipes for drainage and for the supply of water, gas, electricity, including those for the use of solar energy; those of sanitary hot water, air conditioning, heating, ventilation or smoke evacuation; fire detection and prevention; those of electronic door entry and other security of the building, as well as collective antennas and other facilities for audiovisual or telecommunication services, all of them up to the entrance to the private space; the easements and any other material or legal elements that by their nature or destination are indivisible ”


This Spanish provision was fundamental for the drafting of Cabinet Decree 217 of 1970, which establishes the principles of independent property per floor. The term promoter is widely used today with the economic boom that Panama sustained at the beginning of the last decade, in which a large number of buildings were built, in which various promoters were the economic actors who risked capital to support growth of the Panamanian economy where construction has always been one of the main engines. I hope the article is to your liking and if you want advice on issues related to the horizontal property law in force in Panama, do not hesitate to click on the following button to access the contact form.



Until next time! Source: Ricardo Eskilden M (2012). The New Horizontal Property.Editorial Temis.

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