I rarely use my apartment, and when I do I don’t use the lift very much and only use the pool at the weekends. So why should I need to pay a whole years communal fees for my apartment. How about I just pay half?
Sound familiar. Well I hear this kind of statements from at least one unit owner on every apartment building and resort complex I manage. I say at least one, it’s usually allot more.
Well in this video I will cover how to respond to this kind of objection, well I am sure you already have a response in your head, but I will let you know of a much politer one.
First things first, here comes the legal bit.
Under the law, it actually specifically covers this situation. So those people that first drafted the law probably had heard the same argument.
you should have a copy of these regulations, if you don’t you can get a copy on my site CyprusCommunalGuide.com but basically
Immovable Property Act Section 38T subjection 13 of the standard regulations state. “If a certain unit is not being used or remains unused for any period of time, the owner shall remain responsible for the fulfilment of each of his obligations and for the payment of the expenses corresponding to his unit, as is prescribed by these Regulations.
Which is basically legal speak for I don’t care if you don’t use it, you own it, you pay for it.
Simply quoting regulations will rarely help resolve a situation, but its just important to know the law backs you.
So what can you say to politely to combat this objection.
Its their choice not to use it
You can say that just like any other unit owner this person property can be rented out or sold. It is their decision not to use the property year-round and explain the committee cannot monitor how much every owner uses their properties and adjust their share of expenses accordingly. Its simply not possible.
They still benefit from the maintenance even if they don’t use it
While a owner who does not live in the property full time, or rent it out may not get an immediate benefit from your buildings facilities being maintained they will benefit from an increased sales valuation when they decide to sell the property on in the future. Or if they decide at a later date they do want to rent the property out, it will be more attractive with fully maintained facilities.
Really, there will be a big difference in the value of their property if the building is well maintained year round, or if it looks like a dump 11 months of the year.
Also there are lots of expenses which are nothing to do with use of the buildings, like administrative costs, insurances which are unaffected whether a property is used or not.
It’s the LAW to pay communal fees
While quoting regulations on their own rarely work, its important that they are aware that the law does specifically say they must pay even if they don’t use the unit. There is no provision in the default regulations to allocate each owners share of the expense by how much they use that facility.
If they still object to paying their communal fees
Well if they still refuse to pay their fees, you should give them an opportunity to see your active debt collection plan in action. If you don’t have a debt collection plan, or it’s not working you may need to enlist the help of an experience communal property manager. You can send me a message through Facebook or my website and I can help with this. Either as a one off consultation to get you on the right path, or as part of an ongoing administration and management package.
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