Who has to pay these and why?

Community fees at the time of sale

23 / Nov

The different types of fees

If the property is associated with an association of owners or an urbanistic entity, there are two types of costs: the ordinary expenses and the extraordinary expenses.

First, there are the ordinary expenses. These are the monthly, quarterly, or annual fees that each owner pays to belong to the community and help pay the general common costs, such as electricity, water, maintenance of the community pool and the community gardener for example..

How much each owner pays depends on the percentage of participation that his or her property has in the community. The owner of a 50 m2 house will not pay the same as the owner of a 150 m2 house.

Apart from these expenses, the General or Extraordinary Meeting of the association of owners can agree on extraordinary expenses. These are one-off expenses, such as the installation of a lift, a major repair of the communal swimming pool or painting all the buildings. These are expenses that are not incurred every month or every year.

Selling the property

When the property is sold, it is almost always agreed that the ordinary expenses of the community are paid on a pro-rata basis. That is to say, the seller pays all the expenses for the days he has been the owner and the buyer will pay the part of the fees for the days when he is the new owner.

An example. The property is sold on July 1st, 2022. The seller will pay all fees from January 1st, 2022 to June 30th, 2022. The buyer will pay all instalments from July 1st,2022 until December 31st, 2022 and every year thereafter. When the property is sold within a quarter, the costs are adjusted according to the number of days of ownership.

Extraordinary expenses are a different matter. For these, the criteria are usually the date on which these are approved. If expenses are approved at a meeting prior to the sale, it is the seller who has to bear these expenses, even though he will not be the owner when the agreed repairs are carried out. However, if the costs are agreed upon immediately after the sale, it is the buyer who has to bear these costs.

It seems unfair that the seller has to pay costs without being able to enjoy the result, but the reasoning lies in the possibility to object to the costs at the meeting. If the meeting is held prior to the sale, the buyer cannot participate and cannot vote on the costs to be paid, but the seller can. Then it is the seller who accepts the costs, and it is the seller who has to pay them.

Selena Escandell Beutick