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Commonly Owned Buildings

According to law, housing complexes comprising five or more units are required to have an Management Committee that regulates and manages relevant affairs. This includes the insurance of the common parts of the complex (entrance halls, swimming pools, stairwells etc) as well as their maintenance and repair.

If you are thinking of buying an apartment in Cyprus or a property in some other form of complex, it may include areas & facilities that you share with other buyers.

A building consisting of at least five self-contained units is considered in law as being commonly owned. Such buildings may include:

  • Apartment blocks.
  • Terrace/town houses.
  • Maisonettes.
  • Building complexes.

Buildings consisting of two to four units may also be registered as commonly owned on application to the District Lands’ Office by a majority of the owners of the units.

If you have property in such a development, you are required by law to contribute to the insurance, maintenance and repair of the commonly owned parts of the building; in essence those parts that you share with the other owners. These may include entrance halls, stairways, exterior walls, swimming pool, tennis courts, etc. (whether you make use of them or not).

This contribution is based on the size of the property in relation to others in the complex. E.g. A person with a 3-bed apartment of 160m2 will pay twice as much as a person who has a 1-bed apartment of 80m2 – because their apartment is twice the size.

Administrative committees

Commonly owned buildings in Cyprus are required to have an Administrative Committee that regulates and manages relevant affairs. The Committee must insure and always keep insured the commonly owned building against fire, lightning, and earthquake for a sum corresponding to its replacement value.

Administrative Committees are often set up by the developer or an associated company to which Cyprus property buyers pay a proportionate annual fee to cover the costs of insurance, maintenance and repairs of the commonly owned parts of the building.

The performance of these committees varies greatly; some have service level agreements and provide an excellent service, while others do not. Speak with the buyers of properties in the complex to get their views on how well the committee performs its duties and whether it provides a value for money service.

Where the developer has set up a committee, the regulations governing its operation are registered with Cyprus’ Land Registry; these apply to everyone who buys property in the development. You need to make yourself aware of these and how they affect you before signing any Sale Agreement.

If the developer hasn’t set up a committee, the law implies that a set of standard regulations is used. Your lawyer should be able to obtain a copy and advise you of your obligations under them.

Committees operated by the property buyers

In some cases, developers do not set up an Administrative Committee and it is left to buyers to sort things out.

Organising matters & collecting the annual management fees can become quite a headache for the property buyers, particularly if the properties have been bought as holiday lets and the buyers are not resident in Cyprus.But help is at hand:

If an owner refuses to pay the management fees, the Committee can lodge a claim against the offender’s property, in the form of a ‘memo’ for the debt. Although this may not result in the immediate payment of the debt, the owner will have to clear all such debts before they can sell the property.

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