The Netherlands has many buildings where multiple parties own a part of the building. Often, such a building is split into apartments resulting in apartment rights.
An apartment right is a share in the building with exclusive use of a particular individual part, usually for residence but sometimes as business space.
The building itself is owned by the community of apartment owners who unite in the Homeowners Association (HOA or VVE in Dutch). Membership of the HOA which is responsible for (management and maintenance of) the building is mandatory for the apartment owners.
Rights and duties of apartment owners
The rights and obligations of the apartment owners are including in the deed of subdivision, the subdivision plans, the subdivision regulations and (sometimes) the bylaws. The decisions of the members of the HOA can have legal consequences for the HOA and the apartment owners. In addition, some provisions in the Dutch Civil Code (especially Book 2 and 5 CC) are applicable to apartment rights. GMW lawyers knows how to favourably apply a great diversity of rules and laws to your case.
Summons or petition
With respect to apartment rights, summons and application procedures alternate. Sometimes the sub-district judge has jurisdiction and at other times the District Court. GMW lawyers is knowledgeable in the field of apartment rights and knows which proceedings to instigate before which court. In addition, we are also alert to the sometimes strict deadlines which may apply to apartment rights.
Disputes between the HOA and the apartment owner
Sometimes disputes arise between the HOA and one or more of the apartment owners. For example, if an owner does not want to pay for maintenance of the property or when an occupant uses a communal area for private purposes. Also, decisions of the HOA are commonly disputed. This requires that the aggrieved party takes the initiative and goes to court. GMW lawyers has extensive experience in conducting these procedures, for both apartment owners as well as for homeowners associations.
Dispute between the HOA and third parties
Problems can also arise between homeowners associations and others such as contractors, painters, installers, etc. that have supplied defective work, or an executive / external manager who fails to comply with the administration and accounting requirements for the HOA. GMW lawyers advises homeowners associations, property managers and individual apartment owners in the event of such conflicts.
We provide advice on the best strategy, taking into account the rights and obligations stipulated in the apartment rights. In consultation with the client the best possible solution is attained, preferably without going to court. If legal proceedings are inevitable, GMW lawyers can assist the HOA, the manager or the apartment owner.
GMW lawyers also acts on behalf of real estate investors, housing corporations, developers, (executives / managers of) HOA’s. Our clients are increasingly having to deal with issues and disputes arising from apartment rights and we assist these clients with this task. GMW lawyers has a broad experience and specialist knowledge of apartment rights.
Do you have questions about apartment rights or do you want to discuss a case? Please contact us at your convenience.
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