Frequently Asked Questions

Louise Zambartas of L.G. Zambartas LLC answers to many questions regarding communal management and maintenance charges.

I receive many questions regarding maintenance charges, a selection of which I have included below.

Q. As I rent my apartment isn’t it my tenant who should be paying the maintenance charges?

A. No. As the buyer/owner of the apartment payment of the maintenance charges is your responsibility.

Q. I have an apartment on the ground floor, should I pay for maintaining the lift when I do not use it?

A. Yes. You are required to pay for maintaining all of the common facilities, including the lift, whether you make use of them or not.

Q. I only live in the apartment for three months of the year; shouldn’t my annual maintenance charges be reduced accordingly?

A. No. Regardless of how long you live in the apartment, you are required to pay the full annual amount.

Q. The developer promised that our communal swimming pool would be ready when we moved in; it isn’t. Can I withhold maintenance payments?

A. No. If the communal swimming pool was not ready as promised, why did you accept delivery?

Q. We have now got our Title Deeds and a Management Committee has been set up by people living in the flats permanently and they want everyone to pay the same amount. Can they do this?

A. No. The amount you pay is based on the size of your flat in relation to the others on the development. If your flat is 50m2 you should be paying half as much as someone with a 100m2 flat.

Q. I have a 2-bedroom flat with a separate dining room but am being asked to pay more than my friend in the same block who has a 3-bedroom flat. Is this correct?

A. See the answer to the previous question. The amount you pay is based on the relative size of your flat compared to the others in the development.

Q. I look after a small garden outside our block of flats. I’ve planted shrubs, made a stone path and bought a garden bench. I also do all the weeding and keep it looking nice. Am I entitled to a discount on my management fees?

A. I’m afraid not. But perhaps the Management Committee would agree to paying you for the plants, etc. you bought and your labour.

Q. Our developer gave four of the sixteen flats in our block to the original landowner in exchange for the land our flats are built on. Our developer has told us that the rest of us have to pay for their maintenance because the landowner refuses to pay him. Can he do this?

A. No. You only need to pay your share. It is up to the developer to pursue the landowner for payment. Suppose you were the only person in the block paying maintenance, would the developer expect you to pay for the other fifteen?

Q. We have just taken delivery of our apartment and have received a bill for maintenance. This has come as quite a shock to us as we didn’t know about maintenance payments. Do we have to pay?

A. Yes. It sounds as if your lawyer did not advise you correctly when you bought the apartment. He/she should have determined whether a Management Committee had been established and drawn up a contract for the payment of maintenance charges and insurance of the common areas.

Article by: Louise Zambartas, L.G. Zambartas LLC (Visit website)