Apartment law and (co-)ownership law
In Belgium, an estimated 3.5 million people (one third of the population) live in an apartment building. Co-ownership is not always easy, and property management disputes can be a drain on your energy and resources.
This way of sharing living space is increasingly regulated by law. In fact, in the past ten years the apartment law has been totally revised at least twice.
Given this intensity of legal intervention, specialised knowledge of apartment law is an essential element of the management of co-ownership. Contrary to what the term suggests, apartment law also applies to co-owned business parks, office buildings, recreation areas, etc.
GSJ assist professional property managing agents with their day-to-day work, helping them put complex legislation into practice.
In addition, GSJ’s teams offer assistance to individual owners who are looking for efficient ways to protect their private property within co-ownership arrangements. For example, GSJ can assist or represent co-owners at general meetings and when necessary institute legal proceedings (inter alia, to overturn decisions of the general meeting, to arrange for a provisional or court-appointed managing agent, a provisional administrator, etc.).
Finally, GSJ can offer assistance in the drafting of articles of association that are tailored to projects, of course taking into account the legal restrictions.
When called upon to assist a client, GSJ will at all times offer advice in such a way that the client can decide with sufficient knowledge of his rights and obligations whether or not to take further legal action with a view to settling a specific dispute.
Ownership and co-ownership rights
In Belgium, the right of ownership is still regarded as inviolable. However, it is not an absolute right, as it is subject to an important limitation in the form of the rights of neighbouring owners. In this regard, a balance must be struck between your rights and your neighbour's rights. In some cases, this balance can be restored only through neighbour nuisance litigation. In addition, binding regulations can conflict with property rights. For example, there are rules governing party walls, lights and views and the distance from plantations (the Rural Code). GSJ’s teams are happy to assist owners who are involved in property disputes in the broadest sense of the term (property claims, demarcation of property, the statute of limitations, etc.).