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19 June, 2024
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Revolutionizing the management of multi-owner buildings in Cyprus

Bringing order to shared property with new legal changes

Andreas Andreou

Andreas Andreou

The proposed legislative changes, tabled in the parliament yesterday, seek to modify and enhance the existing framework for the management of common buildings. Although a comprehensive discussion and eventual voting in the parliament are expected before the final text is adopted, an initial examination is promising. These amendments include measures that have been suggested over several years, both by myself and other stakeholders in the market.

It is not yet the time for a detailed analysis of the draft bills, as they are not finalized. However, it's essential to consider their scope of influence. One notable addition is the establishment of a Registration and Supervision Service for Common Buildings. This marks the initial step towards abolishing the chaotic system that has persisted until now, characterized by property owners paying common expenses whenever they choose, ineffective management committees, and unmaintained and uninsured buildings – issues that are all too familiar in our surroundings.

One of the primary tasks of this service will be to create a registry of common buildings. Currently, there is no comprehensive record of such buildings and their operational status. Some information exists within government departments, but it lacks proper oversight.

Simultaneously, this registry will include a list of management committees, detailing their members and internal operational rules. The Service, empowered by law, will have the authority to impose administrative fines on both management committees and property owners for violations. A significant provision is the Service's ability to approach the court unilaterally to request an order for the removal of illegal alterations or irregularities within a building. This effectively addresses issues like unauthorized balcony enclosures, construction without permits, or alterations without the proper legal basis. The responsibility lies not only with those who make these changes but also with those who tolerate them. Minor internal renovations and alterations that do not affect the building's appearance or the comfort of other owners are exempted from this provision.

Expanding the scope of who can participate in these committees should be considered beyond property owners alone. The draft legislation currently restricts committee membership to owners. However, it might be beneficial to allow first-degree relatives of owners to participate and even individuals with qualifications in property management if available and willing.

Lastly, the creation of a permanent maintenance fund is a crucial measure. Another significant aspect defined in the draft law is the requirement for management committees to provide proof of payment of common expenses to relevant government departments when necessary, for activities such as property sales, transfers, mortgages, or rentals. This measure will discourage the practice of selling property, then disappearing and leaving the dues for the next owner to cover.

Further examination will be required when the legislation is finalized to scrutinize specific articles that may not have been visible in the current draft or that may emerge later and warrant discussion.

Cyprus  |  apartments  |  common  |  expenses

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