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PPE: condominiums

Becoming a homeowner through the purchse of a condomium.

More economical than a single home, condomiums facilitate access to the status of ownership. Most buildings that are built now are condominiums. In the last ten years there has been a 5% increase in the number of homeowners in Switzerland.

With the scarcity of construction land, this trend will certainly continue in the coming years. A condominium owner does not own his apartment, but is a co-owner of the building, as a share of the value of the latter, which is registered in the land registry. An exclusive spaces allocated to the owner, such as an apartment, basement or garage. A garden or parking can also be an easement for regulatory purposes. But the owner has no right to make changes in its premises, without the consent of other owners. However, the owner is free to make whatever changes he wants inside his apartment.

An administrator will be appointed by the owners to manage the technical and legal affairs of the condominium. The administrator informs the general meeting of owners on the business of building and on possible further actions. His yearly fee will be added to operating expenses, insurance premiums and that of the the concierge. The buyer must be aware that it is committed to participate within a community. He cannot prejudice the rights of other occupants of the building, he should participate in general meetings (once per year on average), follow the regulations and bear the common expenses even if they do not concern him directly (eg the elevator).

With the help of a notary, consulting the land register, the future owner becomes aware of what is his part of the lot, and the share allocated to it. This is important because it determines the percentage of common costs. The higher the percentage, the higher the costs. The buyer should contact the administrator of the property to view the latest accounting reports that show the annual expenses of the building and the existence of a possible renovation fund. Viewing the last three minutes of general meetings, the buyer can get an idea of the atmosphere prevailing within the community and possible disputes between owners. You should also check that the owner of the property for sale is up to date with the payment of common  expenses. If the condiominium is a new building on plans, ensure that the project is conducted by qualified professionals who are able to assess future costs accurately.