The reformation of Civil Code on co-ownership and homeowner’s associations

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Parliament has, since October 2018, definitively adopted an amendment to the civil code in the framework of the modernisation of the regime of co-ownership and union associations. This is why SYGECO practice - a subsidiary of the ENL group specialised in estate and wealth management - analyses the highlights of this text which will have legal force in the next few weeks.

As stated by SYGECO – which, to date, manages 25 co-ownerships and associations representing over 1500 lots as well as a rental management and property portfolio, this reform comes forward with a management tool conform to today’s reality of co-ownership and union associations while allowing their future management thanks to modernisation, digitalisation, communication, professionalisation and value of patrimony, as well as the fight against overdues. From a starting point of 96 articles, the law now has 140 with a section dedicated to real estate associations, thus establishing a framework conducive to the management of Smart Cities of Mauritius.

Highlights of the reform:

1. For professional and non-professional syndicates

The reformation provides them with new tools in the fight against overdue charges and struggling co-ownerships. With an obligation for professional syndicates to subscribe to a professional indemnity insurance as well as repayment guarantee for the funds which it holds on behalf of its clients, it also protects the co-owners and syndicate members. The spheres of action of volunteer or non-professional syndicates will be limited to buildings in which they hold ownership rights.

2. For co-owners and association members

The reformation favours the estate’s maintenance and valorisation with the obligation to create a safety fund dedicated to maintenance works and with a lowered majority threshold for validating projects, thus allowing a more smooth-running maintenance of co-ownerships and union associations.

3. For Smart Cities

The amended Civil Code dedicates a whole new section to « property complexes », which infers the creation of a more supple and adaptable creation regime as compared to that of co-ownership: the land association. This regime targets the need for immovable property development like the « Smart City » schemes of having a flexible management organ allowing for the adaptation and valorisation of common spaces to a heterogeneous ensemble of land owners (co-ownership, union associations, plots of land, businesses, offices, industries…).

It is noteworthy that these modifications have immediate bearing when it comes to application (as soon as the Act id promulgated) for all new co-ownerships and associations as well as the existing ones which will have a year delay to conform.

«The exigences and complexity of this new text will entail a professionalisation of the syndic activity in the coming years. This evolution mostly heralds the concretisation of new missions for us, while creating new opportunities to shed light on our competences and professionalism», states Sygeco’s Business Development Manager, Régis Maubernard.