Legal advice - communal property

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J B
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Legal advice - communal property

Post by J B » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:54 pm

We have been running our complex to everyone's satisfaction for 6 years now, but this week one of the owners insists that we need to get legal advice as we are not running the committee according the law and that we must take legal advice.

Any (sensible :D ) suggestions as to who is competent in communal property management that can advise us?
J B

smudger
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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by smudger » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:07 pm

There is a very competent property lawyer, Louise Zambartas, based in Limassol. There is also a guy who runs seminars etc and has written a book, The Ultimate Committee Handbook which is a mine of information. I will dig out contact info but google is your friend, they are reputable people and well respected.

If you are not knowledgeable on the problems he is raising, then you have to resort to professional advice.

http://www.zambartaslawoffices.com

https://www.russellflick.com

DavidatLWH
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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by DavidatLWH » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:16 pm

J B wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:54 pm
We have been running our complex to everyone's satisfaction for 6 years now, but this week one of the owners insists that we need to get legal advice as we are not running the committee according the law and that we must take legal advice.
Fine, as long as the costs are shared between all of the owners on the complex.

The law often quoted has a lot of paragraphs which are absurd (e.g. no charcoal-fired BBQ's - try telling that to the Cypriots on a complex). The problem is that you can't cherry-pick which laws to obey and which not to. Commonsense is the best way, within reason.

darrow
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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by darrow » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:18 pm

Our complex was running smoothly for years, until one particular person came to live there. Everything changed, he was complaing all the time and wouldn't pay the fees, only what he de cided was the right amount..The ac ounts were sent out twice a year and everything was submitted in detail. I don't think he even looked at them. We changed over to a management agency. Everyone ended up paying more because of him, but the communal bills were split between eveyone, as before, but individuals were soley liab le for their share. End of problem. You are supposed to have a committee. Perhaps this person would like to volunteer?

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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by J B » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:43 pm

Thanks everyone for their input so far

We are unable to use Zambartas I'm afraid - can explain by PM if anyone wants :oops:

Not sure if Russel Flick would satisfy our 'accuser'

We took over from an agent with €138 in the account in 2013 and now 'someone' isn't happy that we have about 8K :roll:
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memory man
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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by memory man » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:53 pm

you could try Nigel Howarth for advice.

https://www.news.cyprus-property-buyers.com/about
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smudger
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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by smudger » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:11 pm

JB, Russell flick really knows about all things property wise in Cyprus. Not sure what the problem is with your owner, but somewhere along the line he has to respect the rule of law, and both Louise Zambartas and Russell Flick know all there is to know about property law in Cyprus.
We have recently taken over the management of our complex and albeit we have engaged a management company, we have used both Zambartis and Flick for advice, and continue to do so.

Managing a complex is fraught with time bombs, so you really need someone with knowledge on your side. Your owners need to know that this is going to cost them money, you can't work through this on your own.

Looking at your figures, have to say I would be concerned about that 8k, But I don't know your complex, you need to be able to justify that reserve!

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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by J B » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:12 pm

smudger wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:11 pm
JB, Russell flick really knows about all things property wise in Cyprus. Not sure what the problem is with your owner, but somewhere along the line he has to respect the rule of law
Why do you assume the owner is a 'he' ;)
The owner is accusing us of not complying with the law because we don't have a separate account for our sinking fund.
They bought this to our attention on 28th December last year when they decided to only pay half of their fees that were due before the end of the year! :roll:
smudger wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:11 pm
We have recently taken over the management of our complex and albeit we have engaged a management company,
Out of curiosity, how much do you pay a 'management company' to do this?
We are a simple complex of ten houses, five each side of a communal pool
smudger wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:11 pm
Looking at your figures, have to say I would be concerned about that 8k, But I don't know your complex, you need to be able to justify that reserve!
At every AGM since we started, we have voted unanimously to continue to build a 'sinking fund'
We haven't had an AGM since this issue was raised in December (we usually hold it in Sept/Oct/Nov time)
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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by smudger » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:40 pm

"Why do you assume the owner is a 'he' ;)"

I had two choices, does it matter???

JB, Russell flick really knows about all things property wise in Cyprus. Not sure what the problem is with your owner, but somewhere along the line he has to respect the rule of law and the law says everyone has to pay the costs of the complex.

"The owner is accusing us of not complying with the law because we don't have a separate account for our sinking fund.
They bought this to our attention on 28th December last year when they decided to only pay half of their fees that were due before the end of the year! :roll: "

"We have recently taken over the management of our complex and albeit we have engaged a management company,"

Out of curiosity, how much do you pay a 'management company' to do this?
We are a simple complex of ten houses, five each side of a communal pool"

Without quoting figures, we agreed at our AGM what we felt we needed to set aside as a contingency. We have since had some fairly hefty pool problems, but rather than use the contingency we agreed an amount per property to cover the costs. We are aware that in the not too distant future we may have to fund the replacement of the pool liner, but even so, were not accumulating anything like 8k! Our site has several villas, who contribute a minor amount for the private road, 20 houses and an apartment block of 5 as well as 5 shops, most of which are unoccupied. So I'm pretty surprised at your sinking fund! Do you have insurance. Do you have bad debts, apart from the situation you quote? Failing that, have to say it does seem quite hefty.

Why not call a meeting and get a feel from all owners! Discuss how prepared people will be to pay out huge sums of money for a pool liner/pump problem??

Why do you think you need such a huge contingency??

Varky
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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by Varky » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:00 pm

JB,
First stop is to read the law relating to communal properties. A copy can be found, free of charge, by joining the 'Apartment Complex Committees, Paphos' Closed Facebook Group which is a mine of information.

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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by J B » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:30 pm

Varky wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:00 pm
JB,
First stop is to read the law relating to communal properties. A copy can be found, free of charge, by joining the 'Apartment Complex Committees, Paphos' Closed Facebook Group which is a mine of information.
I'm already a member of this group - I can't see a copy of the law, sorry, but is it the same one that's on Nigel Howarth's site?
http://www.cyprus-property-buyers.com/f ... gs-law.pdf
J B

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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by J B » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:45 pm

Smudger

Thanks for your comments

Trying to pick bits out of your lengthy reply - would you consider using the quote system, it may make it a little easier to follow perhaps? :) :) :)

<<JB, Russell flick really knows about all things property wise in Cyprus>>
I will try to contact him

<<Not sure what the problem is with your owner, but somewhere along the line he has to respect the rule of law and the law says everyone has to pay the costs of the complex>>
They are suggesting that we are not acting within the law by storing the money in one account, whereas we should have two.

I asked "Out of curiosity, how much do you pay a 'management company' to do this?"
When you say "without quoting figures" does that mean you prefer not to answer that one?

Do you have your 'contingency fund' in a separate bank account?
If not, I'm told that you are breaking the law.

Yes, we have complex insurance
No we have no bad debtors.

<<Why do you think you need such a huge contingency??>>
Because at the last 3 AGM's we all voted to do that.

<<Why not call a meeting and get a feel from all owners! Discuss how prepared people will be to pay out huge sums of money for a pool liner/pump problem??>>
See above
Meetings are difficult. I live in the UK and only visit 4/5 times per year although last and this year, it's only going to be 3 times.

I think that covers all your comments

Thanks

J
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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by Varky » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:46 am

J B wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:30 pm
Varky wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:00 pm
JB,
First stop is to read the law relating to communal properties. A copy can be found, free of charge, by joining the 'Apartment Complex Committees, Paphos' Closed Facebook Group which is a mine of information.
I'm already a member of this group - I can't see a copy of the law, sorry, but is it the same one that's on Nigel Howarth's site?
http://www.cyprus-property-buyers.com/f ... gs-law.pdf
Yes it's the same.
On the FB Group you have to look under 'files' on the menu at the left hand side of the opening page.

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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by J B » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:15 am

Varky wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:46 am
Yes it's the same.
On the FB Group you have to look under 'files' on the menu at the left hand side of the opening page.
Got it thanks - it's similar as the one on Nigel Howarth's site ... but different!!! Nigel's is 20 pages, the other is 11 pages! :D
I guess that they are similar ... can you check for me please as I'm too lazy!! :lol: :lol:
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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by Varky » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:48 pm

J B wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:15 am
Varky wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:46 am
Yes it's the same.
On the FB Group you have to look under 'files' on the menu at the left hand side of the opening page.
Got it thanks - it's similar as the one on Nigel Howarth's site ... but different!!! Nigel's is 20 pages, the other is 11 pages! :D
I guess that they are similar ... can you check for me please as I'm too lazy!! :lol: :lol:
Of Course, straight away. :lol:

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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by mike strand2 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:53 pm

Varky wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:48 pm
J B wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:15 am
Varky wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:46 am
Yes it's the same.
On the FB Group you have to look under 'files' on the menu at the left hand side of the opening page.
Got it thanks - it's similar as the one on Nigel Howarth's site ... but different!!! Nigel's is 20 pages, the other is 11 pages! :D
I guess that they are similar ... can you check for me please as I'm too lazy!! :lol: :lol:
Of Course, straight away. :lol:
From what I recall when I was Chairman of the Management committee of 102 apartments, Nigel Howarth Rules are not the actual Rules as issued by the government in 1993. The Immovable Property (Tenure, Registration and Valuation) (Amendment) Law of 1993
Search this in google for a PDF the immovable property (tenure registration and valuation) (amendment) law of 1993

J B
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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by J B » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:50 pm

mike strand2 wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:53 pm
Search this in google for a PDF the immovable property (tenure registration and valuation) (amendment) law of 1993
First three results are for Nigel's site! :D :D
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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by Steve - SJD » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:44 am

J B wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:12 pm
The owner is accusing us of not complying with the law because we don't have a separate account for our sinking fund.
They bought this to our attention on 28th December last year when they decided to only pay half of their fees that were due before the end of the year! :roll:
The owner is both wrong and right ;-)

There is no reference to a sinking fund in the Jointly-Owned buildings law - so the law doesn't state that you have to have
two accounts.

However it is best practice to have two accounts as there have been cases where an owner has refused to pay the maintenance
fees as there is a surplus in the bank account (to cover contingencies). This went to court and the verdict went in favour of the owner
as the judge ruled that as the account was in surplus there was no need for further contributions.

What you therefore need to do is have the owners vote at a General Meeting on having a sinking fund then if you get a majority
in favour you would decide how much each should pay and then keep the monies in a seperate account.

The above is the basics (off the top of my head) and will try and dig out the info for you.

HTH

Cheers

Steve

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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by J B » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:54 am

Steve - SJD wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:44 am
J B wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:12 pm
The owner is accusing us of not complying with the law because we don't have a separate account for our sinking fund.
They bought this to our attention on 28th December last year when they decided to only pay half of their fees that were due before the end of the year! :roll:
The owner is both wrong and right ;-)

There is no reference to a sinking fund in the Jointly-Owned buildings law - so the law doesn't state that you have to have
two accounts.

However it is best practice to have two accounts as there have been cases where an owner has refused to pay the maintenance
fees as there is a surplus in the bank account (to cover contingencies). This went to court and the verdict went in favour of the owner
as the judge ruled that as the account was in surplus there was no need for further contributions.

What you therefore need to do is have the owners vote at a General Meeting on having a sinking fund then if you get a majority
in favour you would decide how much each should pay and then keep the monies in a seperate account.
Thanks Steve

The owner has quoted this:-

https://cyprus-mail.com/2017/07/30/lega ... committee/
J B

Steve - SJD
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Re: Legal advice - communal property

Post by Steve - SJD » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:55 pm

J B wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:54 am
Thanks Steve

The owner has quoted this:-

https://cyprus-mail.com/2017/07/30/lega ... committee/
Here you go - from Nigel's site:

https://www.news.cyprus-property-buyers ... d=00155139

Cheers

Steve

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