Division into apartment rights

Division into apartment rights

When you deliver apartments for a new construction project, you will have to deal with apartment rights. Buyers of apartments buy only part of the entire building. This has various legal consequences.

When buying an apartment that forms part of a larger building, you buy a so-called apartment right. This means that legally you are buying two things: a part co-ownership of the entire building and the exclusive right to use your own apartment. You therefore own the entire building jointly with all other apartment owners. This means that there are rules that all apartment owners must abide by.

What is an apartment right?

An apartment right is created by dividing a building into smaller areas for use. Legally this is known as dividing into apartment rights. The civil-law notary draws up a so-called deed of division, to which a drawing is attached. That floor plan shows the borders between the apartments and between the apartments and the common areas. All apartment owners jointly own the entire building. Each resident can therefore as co-owner use all common areas. This can be a courtyard, a roof terrace, a stairwell or a hallway. Apartment rights can have different shapes and forms. It can also mean a holiday house park or a large complex with shops and apartments. The division drawing and the deed of division are jointly registered in the Land Registry Office. Anyone can request and inspect these documents. These documents can show, for example, who is the actual owner in case of misunderstandings.

What are property division regulations?

One of the most important parts of the deed of division are the property division regulations. These contain the code of conduct for owners and residents. There are conditions for use for the common areas, such as halls, stairs, the hallway,  the courtyard and surrounding gardens. Also included is the mandatory financial contribution in the joint maintenance costs and costs of use, and the technical installations such as elevators, central antenna systems and foundations. Generally speaking, all apartment owners have to contribute to the joint costs. After all, you jointly own the whole building. That means that a penthouse owner contributes to the maintenance of the sewage system, and the owner of the downstairs apartment contributes to the roof maintenance.

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