• Condominium Bank Accounts
    Condominium Bank Accounts

    – A current account intended to be used for day-to-day running costs (water, electricity, stair cleaning, etc);

    – A deposit account in which monies received for the communal reserve fund must be deposited;

    The condominium may have another deposit account – an optional one which can be used as a safeguard against major repairs that may need to be made at some time in the future – and this is considered to be the condominium’s savings account. A
  • Condominium Expenses
    A. Day-to-day running expenses related to conservation and usufruct – article 1424 of the Portuguese Civil Code

    1) How should the condominium expenses be divided? 

    Day-to-day running expenses for the condominium should be paid by the joint-owners in proportion to the value (mil rate) of their fractions.

    Exceptions to the above rule:

    – If the horizontal property deed determines otherwise;
    – If the regulations provide for other circumstances;
    – If a change in the proportional share is approved at a meeting of the joint-owners by a two-thirds majority vote (abstentions are acceptable but there must be no vote against the motion). Thus, the expenses will be borne by the joint-owners, either shared equally between them or in proportion to the respective usufruct.

    2) How should the day-to-day running costs of the condominium be paid? 

    Normally, each joint-owner pays a monthly or quarterly quota to ensure the payment of costs relating to the communal areas of the property. 
    The amount of each quota should be calculated taking into account the estimated expenditure for the year in question and should be approved by a meeting of the joint-owners, normally held during the first fortnight of January and called by the property manager. 

    3) Who manages this money?

    A number of costs will be incurred during the day-to-day running of the condominium, including paying the companies who provide cleaning, lift maintenance and other services.
    The property manager is responsible for managing the money (see the property manager’s duties).

    B. Costs relating to extraordinary alterations – Article 1426 of the Portuguese Civil Code

    Costs relating to extraordinary alterations are payable by joint-owners under the terms set out in III A. 1) above. “Extraordinary alterations” are taken to mean any alteration to the property such as it was originally designed, licensed and existed at the date shown on the horizontal property deed. An extraordinary alteration is considered to be any work that modifies the communal areas of the property whether materially in substance or form, or with regard to use or purpose, specifically pecuniary.

    Exceptions to the above rule:

    Joint-owners who have not approved the extraordinary alteration and whose refusal to do so has been judicially considered founded – works of a non-essential, luxury nature or which are disproportionate to the size/value of the property.

    C. Costs related to conservation and improvement

    1) Essential and urgent repairs 

    These costs are borne by the joint-owners under the terms set out in III A. 1 above.

    2) Repairs required for the upkeep of the property 

    In the event of destruction of the property or a part of the property representing at least three quarters of its value, any joint-owner shall be entitled to demand that the land and materials are sold in accordance with the method to be decided at the joint-owners meeting.

    If the destruction is of lesser magnitude, the meeting may decide, by majority vote of the number of joint-owners and capital invested in the property, that the property should be rebuilt.
    Joint-owners who do not wish to pay a share of the rebuilding costs may be required to sell their property rights to other joint-owners, for a price mutually agreed between them or established by legal means.

    D. Practical Matters

    1) Can a joint-owner who lives on the 3rd floor refuse to pay his or her share of the lift by claiming that he/she has lift phobia and always uses the stairs? 

    No. The lift is there for him/her and his/her family and friends to use if they wish. Joint-owners may only be exempted from paying their share of costs relating to the conservation and usufruct of communal areas, and lifts in particular, if there is absolutely no possibility whatsoever of them being able to use the communal area/facility in question. If, objectively speaking, they can make use of it if they wish, they are obliged to pay the relevant share in its upkeep, whether they choose to use it or not. Thus, what counts is the availability of the lift and not its actual use. 

    2) If a joint-owner does not live in his/her fraction, is he/she obliged to pay the costs arising from condominium life?

    When a joint-owner does not live in his/her fraction, he/she is obliged to pay his/her share in the communal costs for the property, specifically costs for cleaning the communal areas, the running of the building, conservation and repairs, and also to contribute to the communal reserve fund, intended for use in ordinary and extraordinary conservation work and improvements. Their share will be in proportion to the value of their fractions.   

    3) What should be done if a joint-owner (see Property Manager’s Duties) refuses to pay the condominium running costs?

    The property manager should contact the joint-owner and ask him/her to pay the condominium quotas in arrears. If the joint-owner fails to pay the sum in question, the property manager should then bring legal action against him/her. The Minutes of Meeting serve as authorisation for the property manager to take this step. Thus, the joint-owners meeting should take the decision to bring legal action against the defaulting joint-owner and include a Minute approving the amount of the monthly quotas. 

    4) Who should pay the costs if a roof terrace used exclusively by one joint-owner needs work done to it? 

    It depends:

    – If the need for work has arisen as a result of improper use by the joint-owner in question – for example if he/she has built flower beds on the terrace that have caused damp infiltration – then he/she is responsible for paying for the repairs. 

    II – If the need for work has arisen as a result of circumstances over which the joint-owner has no control, then the responsibility for the costs must be shared by all the joint-owners.
  • Condominium Insurance
    A. Obligatory Insurance

    The building must have fire insurance that covers both the independent dwellings/fractions and the communal areas.

    1) Who should take out the obligatory insurance?

    Each joint-owner individually, thus insuring the structure of his/her home and his/her share in the communal areas (roof, walls, stairs, etc).
    The monetary value of the insurance cover must be decided at the joint-owners meeting as well as the deadline for taking the cover out. If the joint-owners fail to take out insurance cover the property manager should do so on their behalf and they will then be obliged to pay back the premium.

    2) Must the amount insurance cover be updated annually?

    Yes. The joint-owners meeting must decide the amount by which the insurance cover is to be updated. If it fails to do so, the property manager must update the insurance using the quarterly index issued by the Portuguese Insurance Institute.

    B. Optional Insurance

    There are insurance policies available that cover a wide range of risks in addition to fire; these are called multi-risk policies, specifically multi-risk cover for the home, and multi-risk cover for the condominium. The multi-risk policy for the condominium is a joint policy that covers all the joint-owners and is therefore expected to be cheaper.

    If the joint-owners of a property have individual fire insurance or an individual multi-risk policy for the home, and wish to be included in a multi-risk policy for the condominium, he/she should authorise the property manager at a joint-owners meeting to take out the policy, and advise his/her current insurer at least one month prior to the policy renewal date that he/she will not be renewing the policy.
  • Condominium Regulations

    A. Definition

    Under the terms of the law (see article 1429 – A of the Portuguese Civil Code), the Condominium Regulations comprise a document setting out the rules governing “the use, usufruct and conservation of the communal parts of the property”.

    B. Is it obligatory to have a Condominium Regulations document?

    Only if the property has more than four joint-owners and if the horizontal property deed does not already comprise a set of regulations. 

    C. Who is responsible for drawing up the regulations?

    The regulations should be drawn up at the general meeting of joint-owners, failing which the property manager should do so.

    D. Who must abide by the rules set out in the regulations?

    – Joint-owners/Proprietors;
    – Tenants;
    – Borrowers (i.e. those who are living in a fraction which has been lent to them);
    – Usufructuaries (i.e. those who are entitled to live in a fraction but may not sell it).
  • Definitions
    A. Definition of condominium

    For a condominium to exist, a property must simultaneously contain communal areas (partes comuns ) and individual dwellings or “fractions” (frações autónomas).

    1) Which parts of the building are considered communal areas1? – Article 1421 of the Portuguese Civil Code

    (a) The communal areas of the building are:

    I – The floor, foundations, columns, pillars, load-bearing walls and all other parts comprising the structure of the building;
    II – The roof or roof terrace, even if they are intended for use by a particular dwelling or fraction;
    III – Entrance halls, vestibules, stairs and corridors for the communal use or access of two or more joint-owners;
    IV – General installations, such as those for water, electricity, heating, air conditioning, gas and communications.

    (b) The following are also considered communal:

    I – The patios and gardens adjoining the building;
    II – The lifts;
    III – Annexes intended for the doorkeeper’s use and dwelling;
    IV – Garages and other parking places;
    V – Generally, any part that is not for the exclusive use of a single joint-owner.

    2) What is considered to be the joint-owner’s exclusive property? – Article 1420 of the Portuguese Civil Code

    The dwelling or fraction which he or she owns


    For there to be a condominium, the building or set of buildings must be divided into separate parts.

    – Individual dwellings or fractions (belonging to a number of individuals)
    – Communal parts (belonging jointly to everyone)

    A condominium can only exist if the building has been registered as “horizontal property” (propriedade horizontal ).

    1 The deed constituting the property as horizontal property may grant exclusive use of certain communal areas to a single joint-owner.

    B. Definition of horizontal property

    A building is considered as horizontal property when all the dwellings or fractions are individual, i.e. they are distinct, separate and independent, and exit on to the public highway or to a communal part of the property. 

    1) What documents are needed to register a property as horizontal property?

    – A document issued by the Municipal Council stating that the individual dwellings or fractions comply with legal requirements;
    – Property Tax Document (caderneta predial) issued by the Tax Office;
    – Land Registry Certificate issued by the Land Registry Office.

    2) What is the deed constituting the property as horizontal property? – Article 1418 of the Portuguese Civil Code

    The deed constituting the property as horizontal property is the document that proves that the property or set of properties has been registered under the horizontal property regime. The deed is a formal document which must be signed before a notary public.
    The document must contain a description of the various dwellings or fractions comprising the property and the value of each is fixed either as a percentage or as a mil rate.
    For example, “Dwelling H has 3 rooms, a bathroom, kitchen, lobby and balcony, and is valued at xxx Euros, corresponding to a mil rate of 20”. 

    The deed may also contain other information such as:

    I – The intended purpose of each dwelling/fraction and communal area;
    II – The condominium regulations governing the use, usufruct and conservation of both the communal areas and the individual dwellings/fractions.
    III – The expected procedure for settling any disputes that may arise in relation to the condominium.

    C. Practical Matters

    1) Who must obey the norms contained in the horizontal property deed?

    All the joint-owners

    2) Can the horizontal property deed be changed?

    Yes, but only in writing before a notary public and with the agreement of all the joint-owners, who must sign the amended deed. However, the property manager may sign the amended deed on the joint-owners’ behalf as long as their unanimous agreement has been recorded in the Minutes of Meeting. 

    3) If there is no mention in the deed of the intended purpose of any dwelling or fraction can it be put to a different use?

    Yes, under the following conditions: 

    I – A decision taken at a general joint-owners meeting approving the change by a two-thirds majority vote; 
    II – A licence issued by the Municipal Council authorising the change in use.

    4) Can the deed be declared null and void?

    Yes, as long as it attributes different purposes to the dwellings or fractions than the ones mentioned in the project approved by the Municipal Council, or if property is not broken down into individual dwellings or fractions, or if no value is attributed to them. 
    An action to declare the horizontal property deed null and void can be brought by the joint-owners and by the Public Prosecutor as long as there is involvement by a public body responsible for approving or inspecting the building work.

    5) Can the doorkeeper’s house, a communal fraction, be let to someone else?

    Yes, it can, as long as it continues to be treated as communal property. However, for the doorkeeper’s house to be let for a fixed term as a dwelling, the decision to do so must be taken at a general meeting of the joint-owners and approved by a vote representing a majority of the capital invested, since this is an act of ordinary management. 

    6) Can this fraction only be let as a dwelling?

    No, the independent fraction intended as the doorkeeper’s house can be let for other purposes. However, this requires a decision taken at a condominium meeting under the provisions of article 1244, paragraph 4, of the Portuguese Civil Code, and must be approved by a vote representing a two-thirds majority of the property’s total value. If the horizontal property deed specifies the purpose for which the doorkeeper’s house is intended, the purpose can only be changed by a unanimous vote of the joint-owners at a joint-owners meeting.

    7) Can the horizontal property deed establish norms that contravene the law?

    The norms set forth in the horizontal property deed can complement the law or, under certain circumstances, deviate from it but only if the law so permits; the law must always be obeyed. Under circumstances not provided for in law, the joint-owners can decide how to operate and manage the property.
  • Joint-owners Meeting

    A. Definition

    The joint-owners meeting is the condominium’s most important body since it is responsible for taking decisions on the different matters brought before it.
    The decision-making powers of the joint-owners meeting are restricted under law and under the terms of the horizontal property deed. This means that it has the power to deliberate on all matters relating to the communal areas of the property but that it may not contravene the law, and may only amend the horizontal property deed subject to a unanimous decision. (This matter has already been covered in the section Condominium Regulations.)

    B. Number of meetings per year

    A meeting must be held at the end of each twelve-month period of management.
    The meeting is called by the property manager for the purpose of discussing and approving the accounts for the year just ended and approving the budget for the current year.
    By law, extraordinary meetings may be held whenever called by the property manager or by joint-owners representing 25% of the property’s value.

    C. Rules governing the calling of meetings

    Meetings must be called by registered letter with proof of receipt. The letter must be sent a minimum of ten days in advance of the date scheduled for the meeting. Alternatively a Notice of Meeting may be circulated and this must also be done at least ten days in advance. In this case, an acknowledgement of receipt must be signed by the joint-owners.

    D. Contents of the Notice of Meeting

    The Notice of Meeting should indicate the date, time, place and agenda, as well as containing information about matters that can only be decided by a unanimous vote.

    E. Consequences of Lack of Quorum

    If there is an insufficient number of joint-owners in attendance at the meeting for there to be a quorum, and if the Notice of Meeting has not established an alternative date from the outset, a new meeting shall be considered to have been called for one week later at the same time and place on which occasion the meeting shall be empowered to take decisions by majority vote of the joint-owners present as long as they represent at least a quarter of the total value of the property.
    Decisions that require a unanimous vote can be approved by the unanimous vote of the joint-owners present as long as they represent at least two-thirds of the capital invested, subject to approval of the decision by the absent joint-owners as follows:
    The absent joint-owners must be informed of the decisions taken by registered letter with proof of receipt, within 30 days.
    The joint-owners have 90 days from the date of receipt of the aforementioned letter to inform the meeting in writing whether they agree or disagree. Failure to respond must be considered as approval of the decisions in question.

    F. Voting – number of votes per fraction

    The property is considered to be a whole comprising one thousand units (one thousand votes). Each fraction corresponds to a part of that whole.
    The mil rate of each fraction is specified on the horizontal property deed; a fraction with an area of a hundred and fifty square metres has a higher mil rate than one with an area of fifty square metres, and its owner is entitled to more votes, in proportion to the mil rate.

    The mil rate of each fraction is specified in the horizontal property deed.

    G. Decisions taken at meetings – majorities required

    Generally speaking, decisions at joint-owners meetings are taken by straightforward majority.

    Exceptions to the above:

    1 – Decisions requiring a 2/3 majority of the total value:

    – Changes to the way in which payment of services in the common interest is shared (abstentions are acceptable but there must be no vote against);
    – Extraordinary alterations;
    – A change in the purpose of an independent fraction whenever the horizontal property deed does not specify this;
    – Alterations to the architectural line or outward appearance of the building.

    2 – Decisions requiring a unanimous vote:

    – Changes to the horizontal property deed;
    – Reconstruction work in the event that destruction of the property amounts to over ¾ of its total value;
    – Approval of the condominium regulations (only where these are set out in the horizontal property deed);
    – Decisions relating to the use of communal parts of the building, for example letting the doorkeeper’s house, or the use of communal assets such as selling certain equipment belonging to the condominium.

    As you can see, certain decisions require either a unanimous or a 2/3 majority vote and the systematic absence of one or more joint-owners makes it impossible to take such decisions.
    The law requires that all joint-owners absent from the meeting must be informed of the decisions taken by means of a registered letter with proof of receipt, no later than 30 days after the Minutes of Meeting were approved.
    Thereafter, and within a period of ninety days, said joint-owners must inform the joint-owners meeting in writing whether or not they are in agreement. Their failure to reply is taken to mean that they are in agreement with the decisions taken.

    H. Absence of a joint-owner at a meeting

    By law, the absent joint-owner may appoint a representative to whom he/she must give a statement delegating powers.

    I. Invalid Decisions

    Decisions taken by the meeting that contravene the law or previously approved regulations can be annulled upon the request of any joint-owner who has not approved them.
    Invalid decisions may fall into one of three categories: null, annullable and ineffective. Decisions which are null are those which contravene unbreakable norms by seeking to achieve something which is prohibited or harmful to the public good. Annullable decisions are those which the joint-owners meeting is entitled to take, i.e. which relate to the communal parts of the property, but which violate applicable material or procedural law or current regulations. Lastly, ineffective decisions are those which deal with matters beyond the sphere of competence of the joint-owners meeting, either because they relate to the joint-owners’ exclusive property, or because they interfere with the management and administrative rights that a joint-owner has over his/her own fraction.  
    Joint-owners present at the meeting have a period of ten days from the date of the decision to require the property manager to call an extraordinary meeting for the purpose of revoking invalid and ineffective decisions; for those not in attendance at the meeting the ten-day period begins on the date of receipt of the letter informing them of the decision. The extraordinary meeting must be held within a period of twenty days.
    Any joint-owner who wishes to do so may submit the decision to an arbitrator within a period of thirty days calculated under the terms set forth in the previous paragraph.
    The right to propose a motion of annulment expires after a period of twenty days counting from the date of the extraordinary meeting, or where an extraordinary meeting has not been requested, after sixty days counting from the date of the decision.
    The suspension of the decision may also be requested under the terms of procedural law. 
    The legal representation of the joint-owners against whom the actions have been brought is the responsibility of the property manager or the person appointed by the meeting for the purpose.
  • Letting of a fraction in which the proprietor does not live

    A. What are the fraction’s owner’s obligations?

    – Inform the property manager that the fraction has been let and provide the property manager with his/her current address;
    – Let the fraction for the purpose for which it is intended, as specified in the horizontal property deed;
    – Inform the tenant of the condominium regulations and attach a copy of same to the tenancy agreement;
    – The joint-owner who is the proprietor of the fraction is responsible before the property manager for acts committed by his/her tenant that violate legislation or the condominium regulations;
    – The joint-owner who is the proprietor of the fraction is responsible for paying the relevant share of costs relating to communal areas unless an agreement is made between the proprietor/landlord and the tenant that the latter will be responsible for said costs.

    B. Who is responsible for paying the condominium’s expenses?

    Generally speaking, the proprietor/landlord of the fraction is responsible for paying expenses. 
    This rule may be altered subject to agreement between the proprietor/landlord and the tenant.

    Requirements of the agreement: 

    This must be in writing and be included in the tenancy agreement or be added to said agreement as an addendum.
  • Property Manager

    A. Property Manager’s Duties

    In addition to others that may be decided by the joint-owners meeting, the property manager’s duties are as follows:

    – Call joint-owners meetings;
    – Draw up the budget showing income and expenditure for each year;
    – Check that the property is insured against fire and propose the amount to be insured to the meeting;
    – Collect monies and pay costs relating to communal expenditure;
    – Ask joint-owners for payment of their share of approved expenses;
    – Perform official acts relating to the rights governing communal assets;
    – Monitor the use of communal facilities and the provision of services in the common interest;
    – Carry out the decisions taken at the joint-owners meeting;
    – Represent the joint-owners as a body before the administrative authorities;
    – Submit the accounts to the meeting;
    – Ensure that the regulations and any legal and administrative norms applicable to the condominium are obeyed;
    – File and safeguard all documents relating to the condominium.

    B. Who can be the property manager?

    The position of property manager can be held by one of the joint-owners or by a third party. 

    C. Remuneration

    The position of property manager may be remunerated. The amount of the remuneration is decided by the joint-owners meeting.

    D. For how long does the property manager remain in office?

    Unless there is any provision to the contrary, the position is held for one year and the property manager may be reappointed thereafter.
    The property manager will remain in office until such time as a successor is elected or appointed.

    E. Non-appointment of a property manager

    If the meeting fails to appoint a property manager, a court may appoint one upon the request of any joint-owner.
    If, even so, no property manager is legally appointed, the joint-owner whose fraction or fractions represent the highest percentage of the capital invested is obliged to carry out the duties on a provisional basis, unless another joint-owner has expressed the desire to take on the job and has informed the other joint-owners accordingly.
    In the event that two or more joint-owners are on an equal footing, the duties will fall to the one whose fraction comes first in alphabetical order in accordance with the land registry records.

    F. Removing the property manager before the end of his/her term of office

    The property manager may be removed from office by a court decision following a request by any joint-owner when it is shown that he/she has committed breaches or acted negligently in the course of duty.

    G. Court action taken by the property manager

    The property manager is empowered to bring legal action against any joint-owner or third party in the course of his/her duties or when authorised to do so by the joint-owners meeting.
  • Protection of Private Property
    A. Prohibitions and obligations that joint-owners must abide by – Article 1422 of the Portuguese Civil Code

    A. Prohibitions and obligations that joint-owners must abide by – Article 1422 of the Portuguese Civil Code
    Generally speaking, in their day-to-day relationship with each other, and with regard to both their own exclusive fractions and to the communal parts of the property, joint-owners must abide by the restrictions imposed upon proprietors and co-proprietors of fixed assets.

    1) What are the restrictions on the joint-owners’ rights?

    Joint-owners are especially prohibited from:

    – Damaging the safety, architectural line and outward appearance of the building whether by carrying out new work or by failing to carry out repairs;
    – Put their fraction to a use that may be considered offensive;
    – Use their fraction for a purpose other than the one for which it is intended;
    – Commit any acts or undertake any activities that are prohibited in the horizontal property deed or have subsequently been prohibited by a decision of the joint-owners meeting with no votes against.

    2) Can the condominium carry out work that alters the architectural line or outward appearance of the building?

    Yes, but (I) the work may not put the safety of the property at risk; (II) authorisation must be obtained by a 2/3 majority at a joint-owners meeting; and (III) subsequently, a licence must be requested from the Municipal Council. 

  • Work and Repairs at the Property
    A. Optional Work

    Extraordinary alterations are always optional since they are not essential to the upkeep of the property (See Condominium Expenses)

    B. Obligatory Work

    – Priority Work

    Urgent and essential repair work is obligatory and takes priority. 

    Examples of circumstances requiring immediate attention: 
    – Gas leaks in one of the gas pipes on the property; 
    – A burst water pipe; 

    1) Who is responsible for getting the work done? 

    Dangerous circumstances like these require rapid decision-making by the property manager; if he/she fails to act, either because of absence or lack of diligence, any joint-owner may take responsibility for the repairs.

    Subsequently, a joint-owners meeting should be called for the purpose of analysing and approving the joint-owner’s action.

    2) Who pays for the work?

    The joint-owners, in proportion to their quotas.

    – Conservation and improvement work 

    The conservation of the property is the responsibility of all the joint-owners.

    1) When should the work be done?

    Whenever necessary.

    The general regulations governing urban buildings (RGEU) determine that properties should undergo conservation and improvement work at least every eight years.
    Municipal Councils may inspect a building and if they find it to be lacking in terms of safety, solidity and cleanliness, they may decide that work should be carried out.

    C. Destruction of the property

    The destruction of a building is an unusual occurrence but it can happen as a result of a disaster or if the building is very old.

    If the building, or a part representing at least ¾ of its value, is destroyed, any joint-owner may demand the sale of the land and materials. 

    The joint-owners meeting will decide how the sale should be handled. 

    If the destruction affects a smaller part of the building, the joint-owners meeting may decide that the building should be rebuilt. Such circumstances entail a special “double majority” requirement: the motion must be approved by a numerical majority of the joint-owners and by a majority of the capital invested. 

    Joint-owners who do not wish to rebuild may be obliged to sell their fractions to other joint-owners.
  • Work in fractions which have been let
    A. Landlord

    1) Whose responsibility is the work?

    The landlord is obliged to carry out ordinary and extraordinary conservation work and improvements.
    – Ordinary conservation work are things such as cleaning and general repairs of the property in question; work intended to keep the fraction in the same condition it was in when the tenancy agreement was signed; work intended to maintain the characteristics of the fraction as at the date of issue of the licence for use.
    – Extraordinary conservation work is work that costs the landlord at least 2/3 of the annual rent.

    B. Tenant

    1) What can the tenant do when the landlord fails to carry out the work for which he is responsible?

    He/she can ask the Municipal Council to carry out an inspection on the stability and cleanliness of the property in question. 

    Subsequently, the Municipal Council notifies the landlord to carry out the work. If he/she fails to comply with the Council’s orders he/she will be fined and the Council or the tenant can carry out the work instead of the landlord.

    If the tenant decides to carry out the work instead of the landlord, he/she must obtain Council approval of the quote and, subsequently, is entitled to deduct the cost of the work from the monthly rent payments.

    It is the tenant’s responsibility to carry out work that becomes necessary as a result of improper use of the fraction. 

    Example: If the tenant breaks a window or damages the floor tiles he/she must replace them.
  • Work in individual dwellings/fractions
    Do I need permission?

    On the whole you don’t need the condominium’s permission to carry out work in your own home. You can replace your kitchen cupboards, lay a new floor in your living room and put in new water pipes, to name just a few. But there are some things that joint-owners are not allowed to do in their home: for example, they may not alter the architectural line or the appearance of the building, which effectively means they cannot do anything that alters the building’s façade. 
    However, this prohibition can be overcome if the work is approved by a 2/3 majority and a Municipal Council licence is obtained. 

    If a joint-owner wants to divide his fraction into two, either the horizontal property deed must allow for such a possibility or the work must be approved at a meeting of the joint-owners with no vote against. Subsequently, the joint-owner must seek council permission.

    The two resulting fractions must be totally independent from each other and have an exit on to either the public highway or a communal part of the property.
    If a joint-owner wants to combine two separate fractions contained in the property, this may be done without having to obtain permission from the joint-owners meeting but the alterations may not modify the support structure of the property (pillars, beams), the façade, the shape of the roof or the size of the property. 

    The joint-owner must also inform the Municipal Council about the work and submit an acceptance of liability document.

    Work may begin thirty days after the documents have been submitted on condition that the Council has not responded to the contrary within that time.
    If a joint-owner wishes to install an external aerial, he/she should inform the property manager since the condominium should consider the option of installing a collective aerial in place of individual ones due to the detrimental effect the aerials can have on the appearance of the building and because they make it difficult to use the communal roof terrace. 

    The costs of installing a collective aerial should be borne by all the joint-owners in proportion to their quotas.

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Owners can pay condominium fees in a safe and practical way.

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