Differences Between Cooperative Ownership Right to Premises and Separate Ownership

By Donald S. Terrell

Differences Between Cooperative Ownership Right to Premises and Separate Ownership

Are you planning to buy a property and wondering what is the difference between a cooperative ownership right to premises and a separate ownership? See what are the consequences of choosing an offer with a specific legal status.

Who owns what part?

  • Separate ownership
    If we have separate ownership, we are also the co-owner of the common parts of the building which are not for the exclusive use of the owners (such as stairs, façade, staircase, etc.) and – with the same share – the perpetual usufructuary of the plot of land under the building.
  • Cooperative right to premises
    When we have a cooperative ownership right to the premises, the owner of the building and land is a housing cooperative.

Land and mortgage registers

  • Separate Ownership of Premises
    Each premises constituting a separate real estate (ownership) will have a land and mortgage register or – practically no longer encountered – a collection of documents, maintained by the competent land and mortgage register department at the district court. When selling premises constituting a separate real estate, the notary will demand from us a copy of the land and mortgage register.
  • Cooperative Ownership Apartment
    The cooperative’s ownership right to premises does not have to have a land and, apart from the requirement on the part of a bank to secure a bank loan (establishing a mortgage), there is no need to establish a land and mortgage register. The land and mortgage register for the cooperative ownership right to the premises will be closed at the moment this right is transformed into a separate real estate.

When selling such premises, the notary will request from us a certificate from the housing cooperative about our right. If a land and mortgage register has been established, it will also be an excerpt from the land and mortgage register. It is important that if there is no Land and Mortgage Register, the cooperative has no right not to issue a certificate of the right to which it is entitled. Even in the case of arrears with fees due to this cooperative. After the amendment of the cooperative law in 2017, we become a member of the cooperative obligatorily at the moment of acquiring such a right (earlier membership was voluntary).

Ownership right to premises and separate ownership – differences in the ownership of the premises and in the purchase itself
Despite the difference in name and legal status, the premises are available in the same way. We have the right to live in the premises, improve the technical condition of the premises, carry out renovation work there, obtain benefits from the premises (e.g. renting, lending). We may also give such premises to any person and they are subject to inheritance law.

Separate ownership of the premises can be obtained by purchasing newly built premises, buying the premises from the commune/city or transforming the cooperative ownership right to the premises into a separate property. A cooperative ownership right to premises is obtained by transforming the cooperative tenant’s right to premises, acquiring such a right on the free market, concluding an agreement with a cooperative to build or acquiring an expectation.

Can the cost of living vary?

  • Maintenance costs of the premises in the case of ownership rights
    In the case of ownership rights, in most cases one building is one housing association, which decides on the choice of the manager of the property, his remuneration and other costs. The community also determines the amount of the renovation fund or the amount and purpose of the loan. As a rule, one administrator maintains several or several dozen housing communities, and services for the communities are provided by external companies selected by tender.
  • Subsistence costs in the case of a cooperative proprietary right to premises
    In the case of a cooperative ownership right to premises, we are dealing with a building or, in most cases, a complex of buildings located on a single plot of land. A housing cooperative is associated with the period of socialist realism, a large slab, wave-shaped or complex of buildings without any expression. Most cooperatives are also quite a large team of people – presidents and their deputies, accountants, administration employees, human resources department, technical department – whose maintenance is paid for by people who have premises in the resources of the cooperative.

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