For many Cyprus property owners whose dwellings are located within a complex, communal fees can present a wide variety of issues, and top of the list is likely to be excessive fees. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that Cyprus property management companies dealing with complexes are often queried by individuals and resident committees alike. Before we get too deep into the actions that you should take if you think you are paying too much it may prove useful to examine exactly what you are paying for.
Paying for what you don’t use
The top argument that is often put forward by owners of properties, especially those who are part of an apartment block, is that they are paying for facilities that they don’t use. The reality is, of course, that choosing not to use a facility that is available to them doesn’t provide an exemption from paying for it. Put in its simplest terms, buying and owning an apartment or house within a complex means that the communal facilities essentially “come with the territory” whether owners choose to use them or not. An example may be where your property has its own private pool and the complex also has communal pools available should you choose to use them. Simply not taking advantage of the facility wouldn’t exempt you from payment unless the contract of sale specifies their use for a number of selected properties only.
Doing your due diligence and checking on what facilities are available to you
It may be prudent to do some due diligence in ascertaining exactly what you are being expected to pay for and how that relates to what everyone else is paying. On some complexes, for example, some or all of the communal fees may be based on the size of your property and operate on a per square meter scale, as in the bigger the property the more you pay. Reviewing what friends are paying on other complexes is another way to gain some kind of a benchmark but you should exercise caution here too. Ensuring that you are comparing like for like isn’t likely to be easy as every complex is unique and comes with its own set of particular challenges in how it is managed.
Talking to your resident’s committee
If after doing your own research, you are still convinced that you are paying too much for your communal fees your first port of call ought to be your resident’s committee. An email or phone call to the person appointed as the secretary may be the first point of enquiry and they will be able to provide you with a breakdown of how the fees are generated and what you are all paying for. The AGM (annual general meeting) of your committee is also a good place to bring it up so long as you advise the chair of your intentions in advance so that it can be included on the official agenda. Most well-organised resident committees will have access to a good lawyer or management company who will be able to explain any charges that you are unsure of.
Is your management company overcharging you?
If you are an active member of your resident’s committee you may have a deeper insight into the charges that are generating the level of fees you are being asked to pay. There is a possibility that your committee may genuinely be paying too much to the property management company that handles your complex.
In some instances, however, it may be that the budget has been overestimated and needs reducing to a more realistic level which will result in lower fees. A professional and ethical Cyprus property management company will be able to work with your committee to produce a more realistic budget too.
When a Cyprus lawyer can really help
In the absence of a professional management company, there is also a possibility that your committee won’t have access to a skilled Cyprus lawyer who is experienced in the issues encountered by complexes such as yours. There is also a strong likelihood that a proportion of the property owners on your complex are not paying their fees and that will also impact on the amount those who do pay have to find. Management companies that are partnered with such a lawyer now have the ability to compel such owners to pay both the current and outstanding fees and that will ultimately reflect in the overall budget too.
Saving on fees by leaving it to the communal management specialists
The really good news if you think you are paying too much in communal fees is that there is a company out there that can save you money right across the board by providing a professional management service so contact the Cyprus property management experts now!