Rights and obligations

The most important regulations and decrees of the condominium

Rights and obligations

The most important regulations and decrees of the condominium

Rights and obligations in condominium ownership

The acquisition and holding of a condominium are linked to numerous rights and obligations. The most important regulations and decrees concerning condominium ownership are the following:

  • the legal provisions (Art. 712a et seqq of the CC on condominium ownership, Art. 646 

     et seqq of the CC on co-ownership and Art. 60 et seqq of the CC on associations)

  • the deed of constitution (sales contract, deed of constitution for new condominium 

     ownership regimes)​

  • the regulations of the community of co-owners
  • the house rules of the community of co-owner
  • the resolutions of the assembly of the owners

The regulations contain provisions on the rights and obligations of the co-owners, the organisation of the community and the tasks of the management.

Exclusive right

When purchasing a condominium, the buyer acquires co-ownership in the entire property and the building built on it, they do not acquire sole ownership of their flat. The owner of the condominium obtains an exclusive right of use to their flat (as well as their part of the cellar or loft and to all other spatially closed parts). A room can be included in the exclusive right only if it is enclosed by a floor, ceiling and walls, is provided with a closing mechanism and has its own entrance. Meaning, it has to be an economic entity of its own. This is intended to ensure that condominiums can exist individually without being dependent on other condominiums. The garden and parking cannot from the outset be allocated to such an exclusive right.

Special right of use

A distinction must be made between the exclusive right and a special right of use, which grants the purchaser the exclusive right to use to communal parts of the building or systems for themselves. It entitles the condominium owner to exclusive use. For example, a special right of use may be granted concerning the following objects:

  • garden seat or a part of the garden
  • roof terrace
  • car park

Naturally, no structural changes may be made to these objects without the express consent of the community of co-owners, because the special right of use only permits the exclusive use of communal parts or installations, but not their redesign. Special rights of use should be clearly defined in the deed of constitution or in the regulations. It may also be useful to regulate separately the distribution of maintenance costs for these components. 

Generally speaking, condominium owners are obliged to be considerate to the interests of other condominium owners and not infringe on their rights.

Right to participate assemblies of the owners

Another important right is the right to participate in the regular assemblies of the owners. These assemblies are convened and moderated by the management. Owners have the right to vote, may submit motions in advance and seek the agreement of the other owners if necessary. In addition, they may refuse to give their consent if there are important reasons that speak against a decision. Community resolutions may also be implemented and coordinated at the assembly of the owners.

Right to preserve the value of the property

In addition, there is a right to preserve the value of the property. This means that certain motions aimed solely at preserving the value of the property must be approved in order to avoid losing the investments already made.

Obligation to provide maintenance

On the other hand, there is the obligation to provide maintenance, which means that every condominium owner is responsible for the maintenance of the rooms subject to their exclusive right in their own name and on their own account. This includes cleaning, maintenance as well as renovation. The condominium owner is obliged to report any defects found during maintenance work in the building’s overall statics and parts of the building whose function serves their condominium. This obligation to report defects shall, of course, also extend to the communal facilities.

Obligation to pay a contribution

Each condominium owner also has the obligation to pay a contribution to cover the shared costs and the liabilities of the entire property. This contribution is based on the value of the condominium owner’s share or a cost regulation adopted separately.

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