New co-ownership reform: Monegasque co-owners and trustees have a lot to do – Real Estate
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Autumn 2022 will not be the calmest period for Monegasque condominiums and their unions.
Far. 1.531 of July 29, 2022 done substantial changes to the provisions of Law no. 1.329 of January 8, 2007, relating to the co-ownership of constructed buildings. The objective of this new law is mainly to resolve, after consultation with the Monegasque Real Estate Chamber and the Notaries of the Principality, the blocking situations encountered in the administration of co-ownerships and the difficulties linked to the operation of general meetings, but also to put new things on the table. Some provisions have therefore been introduced to guarantee the proper functioning of small condominiums, but Law no. 1.531 has a much wider impact which must be taken into account by all Monegasque condominiums and trustees.
First of all, the new law will be of great interest to co-owners wishing to carry out elevation, cleaning or construction work aimed at creating new private premises, the majority rules for such decisions in general meetings of co-owners having become more flexible. These matters are now subject to the majority of article 16 of law no. 1.329 (majority of the co-owners representing at least two-thirds of the votes of the co-owners present or represented) – and no longer unanimously. However, this only applies if the work is not carried out by the syndicate of co-ownership.
Moreover, Law no. 1.531 clarifies the notion of common spaces distinguishing between general common portions (undivided property of all co-owners), specific common portions (undivided property of certain co-owners) and common portions for exclusive use.
It should be noted that, for these last two categories of common spaces to be recognized, it is necessary expressly specified in the co-ownership regulations. Similarly, the payment of the charges relating to the common areas for exclusive use may be the sole responsibility of the co-owner concerned, if this is specified in the co-ownership regulations.
He also specified that, unless otherwise provided, the right to raise the building, to strip the ground, to erect new constructions in the common courtyards and gardens, the co-ownership or the right to build on the common parts are deemed accessory in the common areas.
Far. 1.531 also adds a obligation for co-owners (even non-occupiers) and co-ownership syndicates to insure themselves against the risks of civil liability with an insurance company approved in the Principality of Monaco.
With regard to the preparation and operation of general meetings of co-ownersthe new law provides useful details to which property managers must pay the greatest attention, especially since most of these provisions are mandatory.
Far. 1.531 introduces a deadline co-owners to send their questions to the trustee for their inclusion on the agenda of the next general meeting. This notice must now be sent no later than 10 days before the notice to the next meeting is sent by the trustee and received by the latter before the notice is sent. The introduction of these deadlines aims to avoid penalizing the sending of questions from abroad.
Moreover, although practically such is already often the case, it is now stipulated that the invitation to the general meeting of co-owners must be accompanied by the quotes for certain works and expenses on the agenda, the cost of which exceeds an amount fixed by ministerial decree.
Finally, the time allowed to the trustee to send the minutes of the general meeting to the co-owners is reduced to one month, while the two-month period for contesting the decisions taken at the general meeting of the co-owners is maintained.
Re small condominiums, Far. 1.531 introduces a chapter III dedicated to syndicates of co-ownership where the number of votes is divided between two co-owners. To avoid blocking situations, it is provided that the decisions requiring the majority of the votes cast by the co-owners present or represented in application of article 15 as well as the appointment of the trustee can be taken by the co-owner holding more than half of the the votes. In addition, in the absence of a professional syndic, the two co-owners making up the co-ownership syndicate can meet without notice and take any decision.
Law no. 1.531 also takes a step forward digitization the administration of co-ownerships and the operation of general meetings. The transmission of documents when convening the general meeting of co-owners (quotes, accounting documents, etc.) can now be carried out by the trustee via a link to a secure online space. Ministerial decrees will be issued to specify these provisions.
However, this is only a simple option for the trustees, and the co-owners can oppose this dematerialization in a general meeting by a majority of the votes cast by the co-owners present or represented.
Moreover, although the law does not specify it, the Housing Commission (the Housing Commission) observed that the preservation and management of documents could be ensured by means of electronic archiving services or digital safes such as those enshrined in Law no. 1.383 of August 2, 2011 for a Digital Principality.
Although co-ownership is gradually becoming digital, it was not considered desirable – taking into account the uses and specificities of the Principality – to provide for the establishment of video conference or an equivalent under Law no. 1.531, which would have made it possible to organize general meetings remotely, as is the case in France.
Other details concerning the establishment of easements, the powers of the syndicate of co-ownership, the appointment of the chairman of the general meeting, or the obligation for the trustee to keep the documentation of the building, are provided for by law no. . 1.531.
In view of the mandatory nature of most provisions of amended law no. 1.329 and the significant impact of some of the new provisions introduced by Law no. 1.531 may have on the co-ownership regulations and on the operation of the general meetings of co-owners, it seems imperative that each co-owner, co-ownership syndicate or co-ownership trustee take note of the new provisions immediately applicable in the Principality.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.