If you live in an apartment building, a syndicat is required by law. But what does a syndic cost exactly and how much do you have to pay for it as a co-owner?
Every apartment building in Belgium must have a syndic. You can choose between a voluntary syndic and a professional syndic. The second option is currently the most common, especially in larger co-ownerships because they require more attention. However, the rates of a syndic vary and many co-owners wonder what a correct price is for their building.
To begin with, there is no legally determined rate for a syndic. Each professional syndic determines their own rate and conditions. Some apply transparent prices per property that can be found on their website, while others always make a personal offer.
It is very important to check what is included in the base rate. Sometimes a syndic has an attractive rate, but extra charges are quickly added for certain requests. For example, there are syndics that already charge an extra fee when a co-owner requests a copy of a document.
This is where the legislation comes to the rescue, because since 1 January 2019, a syndic is obliged to include a list of rates and services in the contract. This shows you not only what the basic rate is, but also what is covered by it. It is to the advantage of the syndic that this list is as complete as possible. If a service is performed that is not on the list, the co-ownership may decide not to reimburse it. Always read the contract carefully to avoid surprises.
If we had to quote an average price for a syndic per month, we would say about €25 per property. Please note that this amount depends on many factors. Even the location of your co-ownership can have an influence. For example, a syndic in Brussels is generally more expensive than a syndic in Flanders. In addition, the size of the building especially influences the price.
The more buildings there are in your building, the higher the price of syndic. Often the price you pay per building also goes down the more buildings there are. In a small building with 5 buildings, the price can easily be €50 per building per month, while the same syndic for a building with 100 buildings drops the price to €20. This is why a voluntary syndic in small buildings is often a financially attractive choice. Using SNDQ's software, any co-owner can easily become syndic.
In addition to the base rate of syndic, there are additional costs. These are charged as soon as something needs to be done that is not part of the standard tasks package. Think, for example, of renovations or the convening of an extraordinary general meeting. As with the base rate, there are no legal provisions for the rate of these extra costs.
For you as a co-owner, it is useful to estimate what additional costs you will incur. In general, the older the building, the greater the chance of extra costs. When you decide to replace the lift, you will not only have to pay for the new lift, but also for the syndic costs that go with it. Does your co-ownership have a garden and are you no longer satisfied with the gardener? Then you also have to pay the syndic to find a new one.
Every syndic has a different way of charging for this kind of extra service. Let's take our example of the lift again. When the syndic requests several quotations and submits them to the co-owners' association, this work must be paid for. Some use a flat rate for this, while others charge an hourly rate. The third option is that the syndic takes a percentage of the total cost of the work as compensation. Finally, a combination of the above systems can be used.
Finally, we will discuss the distribution of the syndic's costs in the co-ownership. This follows a simple base principle, but once it is deviated from, you end up in more complex situations.
The distribution of the syndic's costs is usually done according to the same distribution key that applies to the common charges. This is based on the share that each co-owner has in the building. Please note: this is not possible if the distribution key is not mentioned in the statutes. This calculation is then simply applied to all costs that the syndic incurs for the co-ownership.
The above distribution is simple if all the premises are occupied by their owner. If one or more properties are rented out, the standard arrangement is immediately dropped. In this case, it is the landlords' responsibility to pass on the syndicator costs to their tenants. This is allowed for a maximum of 33% in Flanders. In Brussels and Wallonia, there are no rules and the landlord may decide how to divide the costs. These costs are usually included in the monthly fixed costs on top of the rent. The remaining part is for the owners themselves.
Finally, there are the costs involved in a transfer of ownership. These fall outside the apportionment key. It is therefore not logical that the entire VME has to pay when one owner sells. These costs are entirely for the departing co-owner and should not be shared with the new owner.
SNDQ is the cloud platform for private and professional landlords, stewards and syndicators.