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Putting order to the common expenses saga

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I am impressed by the ease with which the various political candidates make promises to various unions and other organised groups, because they believe that this will attract voters.  In an effort to achieve their goal, they do not consider the cost of such promises that the rest of us will be called to bear.

Because this period is “whatever you ask for, you will get”, I wonder if it is the right time to push for the correction of the common expenses law, which could help shake the law on this matter.

If a common expenses association is created, I am sure that it will have several thousand members, because there are thousands of buyers and tenants who are trapped, governed by a law that cannot be enforced, resulting in entire buildings falling in disrepair due to non-maintenance, causing additional problems among owners and the corresponding reduction in the value of their units.

We have experienced four governments where we as an office have protested on the issue with the respective Ministers of Interior, who (all) agree on the need to correct the law, but nothing is done afterwards.  If we say that 20-30% of unit owners own (either as owners or tenants) apartments or offices (local and foreign) the problem is huge.  If there is a politician interested to attract new voters (if that is the goal), the creation of a lobby pressure group of individuals, developers, foreign and local investors as an association would have in our own estimate around 40,000-50,000 members.

This association would require a membership of €5 per unit, which will include comprehensive single development projects.

Legal assistance

This association should be able to offer legal assistance if requested on general guidance, through its own lawyers and act as a pressure group on issues that concern it (as well as charges of municipal taxes, etc.), while it will express its opinion in discussions and proposals of bills and others submitted to parliament and elsewhere.

Among other things, our proposal is that no rental, sale or mortgaging of a property can take place unless a certificate is presented by the management committee that this unit does not owe common expenses.

The amount of the common expenses must constitute a debt to the management committee, which will be able to collect by sale after receiving the license to sell (from a special Court of Common Expenses with summary procedures) the unit to collect the unit’s debt.  Any interested tenant must pay his common expenses whether he agrees or not and if he believes that he is wronged to apply to a special Court of Common Expenses for a decision whether he is entitled to them or not – exactly the opposite that happens today. At present, the good payers pay and the management committee chases the bad payers for years and in the meantime no good payer agrees to cover the rest of the bad payers in the hope of future collection.

Of course, we need to change the legislation and clarify the legislation as it stands, even though there is a new proposal pending.

Disputes of common expenses may be assigned to a special arbitrator (such as the technical chamber ETEK) for a decision in the form of arbitration.

So, if we assume that there is interest for individual units and we add here the interest of banks, insurance companies, investors, etc., it becomes clear that it is possible to create this fund to respond to such goals.

I expect and believe that we will have delays in implementing this idea – but there is also the future and hope dies last, as they say.

 

Antonis Loizou F.R.I.C.S. – Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – Real Estate Appraisers & Development Project Managers

www.aloizou.com.cy

[email protected]