Is your communal maintenance charge unfair?

Questions about living in properties with shared/common facilities
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oneness
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Is your communal maintenance charge unfair?

Post by oneness » 03 Nov 2007 05:08

Hello, I jointly own an appartment in Nicosia having unusually large balconies and verrandas (90m2) compared to the interior apartment area (155m2).There are is only one other apartment in the building like this. All the others have much smaller exterior area (typically 20m2) and but still quite good interior size (120m2).

The basis used for calculating the annual communal maintenance charge for each apartment is square meterage. Recently, the building's Commitee decided to alter this basis by including balcony and verrandah area in overall apartment area figures. Worse, they are giving these exterior areas the same weighting as interior areas.

My charge has consequently shot up by 50% while, for members of the Commitee who voted in this change and others, their charge has gone down.

I explained to a member of the Commitee that this change does not reflect the real communal costs created by my apartment. Private exterior areas neither benefit from nor contribute to communal maintenance expenses (lift, janeter, cleaning, waste removal etc) but he thinks it is fair. Is he right? Or should I refuse to pay the increase?



Nigel Howarth
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Post by Nigel Howarth » 03 Nov 2007 12:21

Hi oneness,

I have a copy of the law on this subject on my main website. You can find it at: http://www.cyprus-property-buyers.com/r ... nloads.htm

It's in the 'Download Cyprus legal information section' and it's entitled 'Jointly Owned Buildings Law of 1993'. I suggest you download a copy and give it to the chair of your Committee.

According to that document, maintenance charges are based on the comparative values of the properties.

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Nigel Howarth
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marion
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Post by marion » 04 Nov 2007 11:30

Nigel, I think the use of the term 'value' in the law document relates to size and not a monetary figure. So each owner pays according to what percentage of the property they own. And that includes covered/uncovered balconies/verandahs.

Doesn't seem fair to me either. In discussion with an advocate, he admitted the law is unworkable and that common sense should prevail. But those who would benefit from sticking to the law will undoubtedly push for it.

Marion



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Post by Nigel Howarth » 04 Nov 2007 11:46

marion wrote:each owner pays according to what percentage of the property they own. And that includes covered/uncovered balconies/verandahs.
Yes, that's the way I've seen it work as well. IMO, the law would be fairer if it reduced the weight given to uncovered areas. So you would calculate the size of a property along the following lines:
  • Size = covered area + (uncovered area/2)
or something similar.

As for whether 'value' relates to size or monetary value, different lawyers will have different opinions. The definition will only be decided when a test case is brought before a Court - fancy your chances :)

Cheers,


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oneness
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Post by oneness » 05 Nov 2007 05:59

thanks nigel and marion. I for the download I will read it tommorow (its late!). Maybe EU law could have some say on this issue???



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Post by Nigel Howarth » 05 Nov 2007 11:08

oneness wrote:Maybe EU law could have some say on this issue???
I don't believe there are any EU directives on this subject (or if there are, I haven't been able to find them).

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robinh
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Re: Is your communal maintenance charge unfair?

Post by robinh » 06 Nov 2008 10:09

I have found this debate very interesting .However I would very much appreciate receiving feedback on how various complexes have split the costs.From the little research I have done so far it seems that in many cases the split is entirely arbitrary-decided by the management company with for example only an 8% differential between a 1 bed apartment and a 2 bed apartment.It seems that in practice the square footage (Covered or otherwise )is very rarely used to calculate charges.



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Re: Is your communal maintenance charge unfair?

Post by Nigel Howarth » 11 Nov 2008 19:00

Hi Robin & welcome,

According to the law, management fees are calculated on the relative sizes of the properties concerned.

So someone in a 150m2 flat would contribute twice as much as someone in a 75m2 flat and three times as much as someone in a 50m2 flat.

I can't really comment on how different management committees calculate their fees - I can only advise you what is required by law. (I'm afraid the link I posted earlier was incorrect). You can download a copy of the law from http://www.cyprus-property-buyers.com/f ... gs-law.pdf

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Nigel Howarth
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