In an effort to address longstanding challenges related to shared property ownership in Cyprus, new regulations has been unveiled. This comprehensive legislation, soon to be deliberated upon in the parliamentary chambers, targets issues ranging from management committee operations to the common dilemma of unpaid communal fees.
With the introduction of these regulations, Cyprus aims to streamline the governance of the estimated 30,000 jointly-owned buildings in the region, ensuring a more harmonious and efficient coexistence for their inhabitants.
The Cabinet has recently greenlit an updated law concerning Co-Owned Buildings. This revised legislation seeks to address ongoing challenges faced by management committees, along with several functional issues rooted in the existing law, as highlighted in Greek media outlets.
Upon finalizing the exact legal verbiage, the law will be presented to the legislative assembly for review and potential modifications. The expectation is for the legislation to be enacted by the year’s close and that the Interior Ministry will share specific details about the bill in an upcoming announcement.
Government spokesperson, Konstantinos Letymbiotis, in a formal release, mentioned:
“The proposed legislation focuses on rectifying observed deficiencies and gaps from the current legal framework. This includes clarifying the primary responsibilities and rights of unit holders, addressing challenges in current building management practices, and ensuring better execution of management, especially when property owners neglect their responsibilities leading to potential safety hazards for occupants and the public.”
Although the bill’s particulars haven’t been disclosed yet, sources indicate that every co-owned building with a valid building and partition permit will need to form a management committee. This mandate will be effective irrespective of the building’s certification status, its registration with the land department, or the issuance of Title Deeds for individual segments.
The new directives will aim to mitigate challenges posed by owners reluctant to contribute to shared expenses. Key highlights include:
- Compulsory maintenance of shared buildings by the management committee, emphasizing health and safety.
- Management committees will have the authority to shoulder expenses for communal area maintenance, especially when certain owners default.
- Introduction of administrative penalties and further legal actions against defaulters, with management committees having the ability to both initiate and face lawsuits.
- Creation of a supervisory body to ensure adherence to the new rules. This entity will oversee the registration of shared buildings, the enlistment of management committees, and maintain a comprehensive record of these buildings and their respective committees.
- The Department of Lands and Surveys will now focus solely on matters concerning the occupancy and registration of co-owned properties.
The revised law is projected to address the challenges experienced by roughly 30,000 shared buildings, amounting to an approximate total of 200,000 individual units.
Over the last two decades, the most recurring challenge with co-owned buildings has been the non-settlement of communal charges.
While the new regulations will address this concern, it’s imperative not to burden compliant owners with the liabilities of defaulters. Such a move risks prompting a chain reaction, with many questioning, “If others aren’t contributing, why should I?” This cascading effect could culminate in complete non-payment, leading committees to step down and buildings to deteriorate.
There’s a recognized need for management committees to institute a ‘reserve fund’ for unplanned repairs and maintenance activities. Despite past rulings in Paphos and Famagusta that deemed additional contributions unnecessary when communal funds were surplus, current laws don’t support the creation of such a fund. Although there are existing solutions, as outlined in the piece “Communal Fees – Reserve Fund”, this provision is vital for the upcoming legislation.
It’s essential to ensure that management committees uphold transparency. Practices such as unofficially engaging acquaintances for building upkeep and potentially misappropriating funds should be strictly prohibited. The proposed law should necessitate annual financial reviews of communal expenses, conducted either by certified auditors or, for smaller budgets, by independent unit holders not affiliated with the management committee.
Leveraging Expert Legal Services in the Cyprus Property Landscape
While the newly revised regulations for shared building ownership promise to streamline and improve the co-owned buildings sector in Cyprus, navigating the legal intricacies can still be a daunting task.
With a rich history of expertise in Cyprus property transactions, we have the knowledge, experience, and tools necessary to ensure your property endeavors are smooth and compliant.
Whether it’s understanding the responsibilities of a management committee, the nuances of communal fees, or the intricacies of shared building expenses, our team is equipped to provide you with comprehensive legal assistance.
Contact us today to discuss your needs and learn how we can help you navigate the Cyprus property market with confidence and ease.