EVERYONE who has acquired an apartment1 in Cyprus is required to pay ‘communal fees’ as soon as they take delivery of the property. These fees are used to pay for the management, insurance, maintenance, operation and repair of the ‘jointly-owned building’ by its Management Committee2.
Communal fees are also payable in other types of building complexes that are jointly-owned with shared facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, etc. that are available for use by those who have acquired units on the development and their guests.
It is obviously in the interests of all purchasers to ensure that the common areas and shared facilities are well maintained and kept in a good state of repair and decoration to prevent them from looking shabby and their units from falling in value (not to mention the quality of life of the present occupants.)
I have received several emails recently on how contributions to the communal fees are calculated. The most common (but incorrect) methods of calculating the fees are:
- Everyone pays the same.
- Those with a two bedroom unit pay twice as much as those with a one bedroom unit, etc.
- Pay according to the percentage shown on their Title Deed on the line ΜΕΡΙΔΙΟ ΣΤΗΝ ΚΟΙΝΟΚΤΗΤΗ ΙΔΙΟΚΤΗΣΙΑ.
The correct method of charging is based on the relative size of each unit in square metres, comprising the enclosed area of the unit plus the covered and uncovered area of balconies, verandas, etc.
Communal fees example
The following shows a jointly-owned building comprising six units. Their enclosed, covered and uncovered areas of each unit have been totalled in column five. The sixth column shows their share of the total area; Unit A’s area of 159 sqm. is 23.35% of the total area of 684 sqm. and so on for the remaining units.
If the Management Committee sets the annual budget at €2,500, the purchaser(s) of unit:
- A would pay 23.25% of €2,500 – €581.14
- B would pay €372.81
- C would pay €402.05
- D would pay €387.43
- E would pay €409.36
- F would pay €347.22
Obtaining the information
The information needed for those with Title Deeds is straightforward:
Follow my guide at Online property valuations revisited.
When you print the details by clicking ‘Print‘ in the Identification Results window, a small new browser window is displayed, which contains details of all the units. Copy and paste the contents of this window into a spreadsheet, deleted the lines above ‘B. REGISTRATION ON PARCEL’ and you’re ready to go.
For those without Title Deeds you will need to get the information needed from your developer or the Land Registry. However if the developer has yet to divide the building(s) into individual units or if his division application is languishing in the Land Registry you may only be able to obtain the enclosed area of the property or the number of bedrooms.
1 When a building consists of at least five units, even if the building with all its units has been acquired by single owner, it constitutes a jointly-owned property.
2 Each jointly-owned building must (by law) have a Management Committee for the regulation and management of its affairs.
Law and Regulations for jointly-owned buildings in English – The Immovable Property (Tenure, Registration and Valuation) (Amendment) Law of 1993 – 6(1) of 1993