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Unauthorized Works in Co-Ownership: How to Get Them Ratified ?

Posted by Adeline on February 9, 2021
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You have just carried out work inside your condominium in your house, when a neighbour advises you that you should get the approval of the co-owners’ meeting for this sort of work. The danger involved is the destruction of your building and the previous reconstruction, but you may still attempt a posteriori to ratify the action. A summary on the possibilities open to you is here.

What works are we talking about?

First of all, only construction that involves the open areas or the outdoor portion of the building will fall under the scope of a permission request. Of course you are free to perform any home transformation that has little effect on the remainder of the condominium.

More precisely, Article 25 of Law No. 65-557 of 10 July 1965 lays out the cases in which decisions must be made by a majority of the votes of the present or represented co-owners. It is thus stipulated that the permission issued to certain co-owners to carry out at their expense, work involving, and in compliance with the destination of the common sections or the exterior feature of the house,’ seems to be among these instances.

If the job consists of fitting out a de facto private portion, such as a balcony, or whether it does not influence the building’s layout, does not matter. Under this public order rule, an explicit judgement of the general assembly must be issued. Before an appeal, a co-ownership rule allowing a co-owner in advance to conduct such work would not be relevant.

Try to have your work regularized

Where an authorisation needs to be sought and ratified in usual times before the start of the work, the case law gives as an exemption the option of ratifying the work undertaken a posteriori. This decision must be made on the same basis as before: by a majority of the co-owners and upholding the destination of the house.

Notice that if the work carried out infringes the common areas, it is appropriate to permit not only their completion, but also the annexation by the co-owner of the privatised property at that period, and thus its automatic shift.

Useful clarification: if you have made – or intend to make – the purchase of property containing a job that the co-ownership has not approved, be mindful that you do not face any criminal penalty but will be needed to remove the work. At the general conference, it will then be wise to try to ratify the transformation yourself.

Let the limitation period run

Time is on your side without a favourable verdict from the general assembly. The restriction period shall determine the period in which no further civil action against you can be taken.

Discreet work that does not arouse your neighbours’ anger can go unnoticed enough to encourage you to wait during the time of legal restriction. It should be remembered that this count still appears to run to the point that no legal action against you has already been taken (and notified by a bailiff).

Historically, as for the restriction period, it was 30 years, then 10 years after 2008. The 2018 ELAN Statute, amending the 1965 Rule, shortens the duration to a period of 5 years. This covers only personal actions between co-owners, or between a co-owner and the co-ownership syndicate, please remember.

In addition, after the conclusion of a task, we are talking here about the probability of demanding a repair operation. The thirty-year prescription would be the focus of the irregular appropriation of common places.

Vigilance is critical when looking at work in a condominium. Do not hesitate to approach members of the union council directly or indeed the union under contract. You will prevent potential concerns in the future if in doubt, as well as conflicts between neighbours with whom it is never fun to work on a regular basis.

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