Who should pay for condominium in Ukraine and what should be paid for?
More and more often apartment buildings are organized in Ukraine as condominiums – association of joint owners of apartment buildings. Purposes of their establishment and effectiveness may be different but in order to operate they require financial recourses that can be obtained from members of the condominium as well as other owners of premises in a building. But does the fact of condominium creation always provide grounds for its management to demand payments for its functioning? Is it possible to collect these payments in case when an owner is not a member of a condominium and appropriate agreement is absent? We will try to answer these questions and point out that they are applicable not only to residents of buildings in which condominium is organized but also to owners of non-residential premises (offices, stores, etc.) that are located in such buildings. This material is not a comprehensive legal advice.
Answers to these questions are way too far from being unambiguous due to inconsistencies and contradictions of provisions of the Law “On association of joint owners of apartment building” (Law on condominium of Ukraine). Thus, Article 13 of the Law provides that owner who is a member of the association is obligated in particular to make complete and timely payments. And Article 9 of the Law on condominium declares free membership in a condominium.
A seemingly logical conclusion that owners who are not members of a condominium are not obligated to make payments in practice is overridden by provisions of Article 13 of the Law on condominium according to which an owner is obligated to enter into agreement with a manager (which is usually represented by condominium) despite membership in the condominium. Besides in accordance with the mentioned article of the Law on condominium when an owner of a premise refuses to make obligatory payments for maintenance and repair of indivisible property – such payments can be collected through court. Thus, it turns out that in Ukraine you may not be a member of a condominium but you are obligated to make payments.
And courts usually satisfy lawsuits against owners of apartments (premises) that are not members of a condominium about collection of obligatory payments for maintenance and repair of indivisible property (for example resolution of the High Commercial court of Ukraine number 14/452-pn-08 dated 20.08.2009). At the same time it is not even obligatory for a condominium to demand entry into agreement with him (exemplified by the resolution of the High Commercial Court of Ukraine number 10-11/152-08-4174 dated 10.06.2010).
As the result of action of the mention provisions of legislation and practice of their enforcement head of condominiums are not really eager to enter into agreements with owners of apartments of premises. They think that an owner of premise is obligated to pay anyways and absence of agreement with him as well as the fact that he is not a member of a condominium is even for the better. Condominium has fewer obligations in front of such owner.
Based on the abovementioned facts in our opinion it is better not to neglect the fact that a building in which your apartment or premise is located is organized as condominium and become its member. In this way you will be able at least to influence decisions of a condominium about tariffs that applied to you as well. In other words if mafia cannot be defeated it should be headed!
This material was written by legal experts of Kiev law firm “Pravova Dopomoga”.