Condominium is a Latin word formed by adding the prefix con- (“together”) to the word dominium (“domain, ownership, property”). It means “co-ownership”. The modern Italian word for it, is condominio. If you are from the US, Canada, the UK or France, you are probably more familiar with terms like condo, common hold, co-property or co-propriété.
A condominio is a community of owners. It is managed by an administrator (“amministratore di condominio”), with the help of a president and a secretary. It has its own “Codice Fiscale” (Italian Tax Code) and bank account.
It is created when a number of people own properties that share common areas such as swimming pools, gardens, parking areas, walkways, foundations, supporting walls, facade, roof, corridors, staircases, lift, laundry rooms etc. Co-ownership of common areas comes with responsibility for the same and all owners must contribute to their maintenance.
WHAT DO YOU OWN IN A CONDOMINIO?
First of all, you own your own apartment or house outright, in addition you share the use of common areas, utilities and amenities, together with the other owners.
WHAT IS A SHARED SWIMMING POOL?
A shared swimming pool is one of the common areas co-owned by the owners in a condominium. Access to the shared swimming pool is allowed to residents (and their guests) only.
I AM NOT USING THE POOL, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR ITS MAINTENANCE?
In Italy, the condominio is governed by law and co-ownership of the common areas is mandatory. Sorry, you cannot give up your right on common parts for not paying the costs!
WILL CONDOMINIUM CHARGES COVER THE MAINTENANCE OF MY PRIVATE GARDEN?
Nope. Condominium charges will not cover the maintenance costs for the upkeep of your private property, therefore you will need to set up a private agreement with a local contractor for that. This is easier done than said as there are several local gardeners in our Tuscan villages who will be happy to help!
HOW ARE CONDOMINIUM CHARGES CALCULATED?
Depending on a number of factors (surface, floor, terrace, garden, garage, etc.), each apartment is assigned a share of common parts (ie. 150/1000). These shares, aka millesimal quotas (“quote millesimali”), are expressed in thousandths (“millesimi”) of the whole. Each owner will pay his condominium charges according to his millesimal quotas. Millesimal quotas are also used to determine majorities in owners’ assemblies (“assemblee condominiali”).
WHAT DO CONDOMINIUM CHARGES COVER?
They cover the expenses for the maintenance of all common areas. Here’s an example of what they generally include:
- electricity for the common areas (lights in the walkways, corridors, car park, swimming pool, etc.)
- water for the common areas (swimming pool, irrigation, cleaning, etc)
- cleaning of walkways, corridors, lift, swimming pool, car park, etc
- mowing the lawn in the common areas
- condominium manager salary
- Building insurance
Moreover, you may be required to place some money as fund in case of future expenses such as the replacement of a roof, major repairs etc.
CONDOMINIUM RULES AND REGULATIONS
Although condominiums set rules and regulations to improve the quality of life of their residents, we recommend you read the regulations carefully before you make an offer on a property in a condominio. If you are accustomed to live in a detached house, maybe a condo could bring in more restrictions than expected.
PROPERTIES FOR SALE IN A CONDOMINIUM
For our beautiful condominium properties for sale in Tuscany, please click HERE