I live in an apartment. Does the law require the existence of an administrative company for managing our block of flats?

The law does not require this. What is compulsory is for each block of flats to have a Management/Administrative Committee. This will be responsible for the management of communal areas.  The Management Committee could then hire a Management Company to undertake the difficult task.

How does your company calculate common expenses?
Our company follows the provisions under Immovable Property Law 6 (I) of 1993, calculating the common expenses according to the square meters of each unit.
How do we get informed about the common expenses every month?
Each month our company sends an analytical statement to each owner. The statement presents in detail all common expenses for the specific month and the balance of the reserve fund for running expenses.
What is the payment method to your company?
Payments are settled in the bank accounts of our clients. Since common expenses are fixed each month, according to our pre-estimation, we encourage our clients to set up a standing order via the bank system.
Since common bills vary each month, how is it possible for your company to charge a fixed amount each month?
The fixed amount is calculated according to our research at the beginning of our collaboration; the expenses for a year are pre-estimated. The difference of the actual expenses from the estimated expenses is the reserve fund which is used for the cover of the running expenses of the building. The fixed amount is part of our philosophy under which we operate.
The apartment is rented and therefore my tenant should be responsible for the payment of common expenses.
The ultimate responsible person is always the buyer/owner.
The seller/development did not fulfill what he promised and therefore I will not pay my common expenses until they fulfill their obligations.
Common expenses and the maintenance of the project have nothing to do with the developer/seller. The owner who does not contribute to the common expenses of the building punishes not only themselves but also the rest of the co-owners and thus reduces the value of their investment.
Why should I pay for the elevator expense since my apartment is in a ground floor and I never use it?
In a jointly-owned building everyone pays despite of what they use. Otherwise, the penthouse owner should pay more because they use the elevator more frequent; same should be applied for the central heating or with the communal pool if A owner uses them and B does not. However, the legislation does not provide each owner’s contribution to the shared costs according to their floor level.
I stay in the apartment only 3 months a year so why should I pay for the rest of the residents?
Despite of your apartment’s use, empty or not, the proportion of each expense should be paid since the building should be maintained. The same rule applies in cases of unsold units for which the owner/developer is responsible to pay.
Why should I pay for an administrator/management?
The administrator should get paid because their job is joyless anyway (especially when it comes to collections) and because they need to keep the accounting books of the building. Of course, anyone is welcomed to undertake the job for free.
Since A owner does not pay and the Committee does not take any actions, why should I pay?
The first priority is the proper function and maintenance of the building with the ultimate benefit of your property. Your refusal to pay the common expenses in such cases only causes more problems. The right thing to do is to follow the legal process with patience.
While the common expenses are € / m2, the administrator charges me + €/m2 for future maintenance which I cannot understand.
Common Expenses mean renovation and planning for the future, eg. elevator renovation after 15-20 years, maintenance of the exterior of the building every 5 years or the replacement of the communal installations etc. Therefore, an additional cost is needed for future expenses. However, the extra charges should be deposited in a special fund and not be included as part of the running current expenses. Otherwise, each owner will have to be burdened with a relative much higher cost at the end. In case of rentals, it is wise that the extra charge, if this is decided by the Management Committee, to be paid the owner.
The sale contract does not include any agreement for common expenses and therefore it is up to anyone’s decision to pay whatever they want.
If there is not such an agreement, the Law on Immovable Property 6 (I) of 1993 should be applied. In case that there is a General Agreement, but there is a conflict with the legislation, then the latter prevails.
I do not understand the reason for paying a building’s insurance since I have my own apartment’s insurance. Wouldn’t I be paying double in this case?
If, for example, a block of 4 apartments is insured as a whole, then there is no issue. However, there will be an issue if one of the 4 apartments is not insured or the amount insured for is less than what actually costs for its reconstruction. In such a case, none of the units could be rebuilt.
As I aware off, a house like my own requires around €1200/m2 in order to be rebuilt; this should have been the amount estimated for the insurance. The management charges me €1500/m2. Are they stealing from me ?

The cost of reconstruction should include the demolition of the existing unit, new permits and architectural documents, plus VAT and new cost estimation after the period of 1-1½ years. Therefore, the extra 25% is the minimum extra cost and this should be re-calculated at least every two years.

Why should we pay as typical and be burden with the extra cover of the debts by the unconscious owners plus the legal/administrative costs until their collection though the legal court?

The law states that the Management must cover the expenses of the building and then proceed with legal actions against the owner who does not contribute to the shared expenses.  Otherwise, the building will not function appropriate until there is a final judgment by the court of law and the settlement of the outstanding amounts by the debtor themselves.

There is a huge problem at the building; not even the street lights work. We do not have title deeds yet and there is no registered Management Committee. How should we solve such problems ?

The best method is that the seller/developer runs the administration of the building until the issue of title deeds, with the condition in the sales document that the non-payment of common expenses (even in case of a complaint) is considered a violation and therefore the developer should have the right to amend any agreement.  This is a good method to be applied to avoid future unconscious owners.  However, if title deeds do exist, then things are very difficult since the only way for collecting is by lawsuit.

The pipes of the apartment upstairs are leaking water in my apartment. Who is responsible to pay for the repair?

It is generally accepted that responsible is the one who has a problem in their unit regardless who caused the problem. This seems to be the only solution since it is much more complicated and difficult to find the “culpable” (i.e A owner threw inappropriate staff in the toilet and B owner’s drain is blocked. Unfortunately B owner will pay to unblock the drain.) Of course each owner should take immediate actions to repair any damages inside their apartments affecting other units. Such issues can also be included in the General Agreement of the building, if any.

I refuse to pay for the common shares because I am not allowed to keep a dog in my apartment.

You need to check the General Agreement. If animals are not allowed, then you are acting unfair because you have violated the General Agreement. However, if the General Agreement does not mention this, then you have the right to keep your dog (as provided by the law) and provided of course that it does not cause any noise/fear to the rest of the residents.

I bought my apartment 7 days ago and on the 8th day I received a letter from the management for a €500 charge regarding the elevator renovation. Shouldn’t this charge be sent to the previous owner?

No, when you firstly bought the apartment you should have asked for any such possibility. Nevertheless, since the apartment is of certain age, we assume that you have bought it at a lower price.

I am about to purchase an apartment, what should I keep in mind?

Before the final purchase of an apartment, you should be assured that any debts have been settled prior the transfer of the property under your name. We suggest that you ask for a written confirmation of any debts settled up to the day of the transfer. Finally, you should be informed for any building’s regulations.