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Understanding the condominium

Buying a condominium is not without constraint.

A regime that governs all real estate together with private portions (apartments) and common parts, and belonging to several owners who become co-owners. This results in a number of rules, duties, rights and obligations for the co-owner and the co-ownership.

Buying a property in co-ownership is not without constraint. A co-ownership relies on three complementary entities.

  1. The condominium syndicate
  2. The syndical council of co-ownership (members elected among the co-owners)
  3. The co-ownership trustee (volunteer or professional, who administers the building)

It is difficult to find one's way in these three fairly similar names. Here are some explanations.

1. The condominium syndicate

The principal purpose of the co-ownership syndicate is to: • preserve the building; • the administration of the building. As such, he plans an annual budget and the necessary works. The trustee may also buy or sell property for the co-ownership, take out a loan, change the common rules. For all these decisions, a general meeting of the co-owners must be organized.

Like any civil person, the syndicate of co-ownership is therefore responsible in case of malfunction, defect, vice, delay, damage, etc. towards the co-owners, but also towards the thirds and the employed staff; he may be engaged or, on the contrary, sue on behalf of the co-ownership.

The syndicate of co-owners must be registered in the national register of condominiums since the Allur Law (2014); it is composed of all the co-owners. It is a community with a civil personality that must have a civil liability.

2. The union council of co-ownership

His role is to assist the syndicate of co-ownership and control the management of it. It must hold at least one general meeting a year, and is represented by an elected president and co-owners who assist him. These are not paid, just paid. The responsibility of the syndical council of co-ownership can be engaged in case of serious fault of management.

3. The co-ownership trustee

Two scenarios exist: non-professional trustee or professional trustee. The non-professional syndic may be composed of one or more co-owners who open a special "Joint Ownership" account; they are not paid. If he is a professional trustee, he must prove a financial guarantee, have professional liability insurance, a separate bank or postal account in the name of the co-ownership, and have a professional card of "real estate management".

The role of the property trustee is to take care of the administrative management. Many tasks are incumbent on him: Information sheet co-ownership, to execute the regulation of co-ownership, to administer the building, to ensure its conservation, to represent the syndicate in justice, to inform the occupants of the building of the decisions taken in general assembly; he must also deal with financial and accounting management. Before choosing a trustee, a call for competition must be made and supervised by the union council. Once the various proposals received, they are submitted to the co-owners for voting. A contract will then be drawn up mentioning the duration, the remuneration (if it is a professional syndic) and the mission. Any act of maintenance and safeguarding the building is the responsibility of the trustee, who can act without the consent of the co-owners in case of emergency, although of course, any intervention must be recorded in a maintenance book. The trustee is elected at the general meeting each year by an absolute majority. In the event of a trustee default, a receiver is appointed at the expense of the co-owners.

For the co-owner

A complete regulation of co-ownership, often written by a notary, is given to him. Contractual, it details all of the rules and obligations. Decisions concerning co-ownership are made at general meetings, either unanimously for major projects, or by absolute or simple majority. A complete report of the GA must be sent to all. No quorum is required, contrary to popular belief. It is important to know that the more owner owns the highest shares, the more votes he will have and therefore the weight in the final decisions. For future work, several specifications must be submitted and approved. Beware, some professional trustees own their own construction companies, which distorts the game of competition. You can oppose a decision at the meeting which may be the subject of a second vote in this case; If you have not been successful, you can send a registered letter of protest within 2 months after the GA, then, as a last resort, sue if an irregularity appears to you. Each year in the paid expenses (general expenses and special charges), a part is devoted to the management of the co-ownership.

It is theoretically possible to have access to the exact accounts; in case of refusal, a bailiff may be mandated.

The condominium is a sometimes heavy machine that requires careful monitoring and a real commitment if you want good management of his property.

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