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Work on common areas: How does it work?

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To start work on the common parts of a condominium, you must respect a few conditions and a specific procedure. What work can we undertake? Who makes the decisions ? How are the costs distributed? Legally, everything is planned.

Common areas: what are they?

We consider as "common areas" all spaces and equipment whose use is in principle shared between the co-owners of the buildings: entrance hall and access roads, stairs and lifts, parks and gardens, intercoms and digital codes, etc.
The co-ownership may grant a right of enjoyment over them to only one of the co-owners, for his private use. For example, the private use of an end of the garden can be granted to the owner of an apartment on the ground floor which opens directly into this garden.
General charges, special charges, works… theoretically, everyone's participation is distributed in proportion to the relative value of the private parts compared to the overall value of all the private parts, with some exceptions.

Decide on the project: how to proceed?

In principle, work can only be undertaken with the authorization of the co-ownership. A member of the co-ownership may not do work that would affect the common parts, even if he has private enjoyment thereof, without the express authorization of all the co-owners.
As soon as a work project concerns the common areas, the question must be dealt with in a general meeting of the co-owners. It must be submitted to the agenda by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, addressed to the property manager, with all the informative documents - diagnostics, plans, etc. -.
The project is then voted on. If the agreement is given, the terms of the choice of the service provider, the direction of the works, the payment of the invoice can they also be voted.

The voting conditions for a project

In general assembly, the majority necessary for the project to be accepted varies according to the type of work planned.
An absolute majority is required for compulsory work by the application of legal standards or regulations. These include in particular the renovations provided for by municipal decrees, upgrading to standards, asbestos research, etc. This is also the case for energy saving work and work financed by a single co-owner.
Maintenance work and accessibility work for people with disabilities are subject to a simple majority.
Addition, transformation or improvement work is subject to a two-thirds majority.
Work not subject to prior authorization
All work in the common area is not subject to prior authorization from the owners. The trustee can decide himself:
  • Maintenance work, such as replacing a bulb
  • Urgent work necessary to safeguard the building, such as repairing a broken boiler or pipe. In this case, a general meeting must be called as soon as possible to inform the co-owners.
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