What is your trustee really worth?


Lionel Maugain, journalist at the magazine 60 Million consumers signs a major survey – result of a consultation launched in the spring with 500 co-owners – which underlines that, in general, the co-owners tend to have contrary opinions. “A little all or nothing”says the journalist.

franceinfo: What is the profile of those who answered you?

Lionel Maugain: Most of the time, they are owners who have lived in the residence for about fifteen years on average. And often, they are involved in the life of the condominium. They were elected to the union council.

But in general, are they satisfied with their trustee or not?

It depends. It’s a bit all or nothing. People do not hesitate to put zeros when they consider that the syndic does not respond at all to their request and show themselves to be non-existent when we need him.

And general meetings of co-ownership are an important moment. And yet, we realize that there are not many people sometimes. How can we explain that?

The, it is rather the fault of the co-owners. There is a kind of disaffection in the participation in general meetings, which is nevertheless the high point of the life of the co-ownership. It’s not necessarily a timing issue. I think it’s more of a crisis of commitment. It’s complicated to understand, it’s sometimes tedious.

However, going to the general meeting, if there is one gesture to be made in the year, it is this one, especially since the people who take part in it tell us that it is constructive, the debates that take place there lead to solutions. But unfortunately, 1/3 of the general meetings are held in the absence of half of the co-owners, which is still considerable.

There is a subject that annoys, it is the maintenance of common areas and green spaces very often. There, in general, the co-owners are quite disappointed?

Yes, this is the first reason for dissatisfaction. Obviously, there is a lot of talk between neighbors about the degradation of the soil, the elevator which does not always work well, the green spaces which are not always well maintained. This is the main reason for dissatisfaction in buildings.

And in terms of work? Can a trustee decide alone to start work without the vote of the co-owners? Is that possible?

Yes, it is possible, and it is even desirable. When it comes to urgent work to be done, it is obviously necessary that the syndic sends a professional on site quickly. On the other hand, for work of a certain importance, it is necessary to seek the opinion of the co-owners at a general meeting.

So that is the subject of an item on the agenda. Not only the advisability of doing work from quotes, but also the remuneration of the syndic on each type of work must be decided in a general meeting.

And it often happens that work is voted on and not carried out or carried out months and months late?

Yes, it happens that works are voted on and that we wait a long time before seeing them arrive. This is explained at the moment in particular by the fact that before starting the work, the trustee must call for the funds to do so. However, there are economic and financial difficulties for some households, and it is sometimes difficult to gather all the necessary funds.

And then there are trustees who are not responsive enough. But also, conversely, there are works that would be necessary to do in the building, but which are not voted on by the co-owners for reasons, again economic.

There, there is another problem, it is the drafting of the contracts. Obviously, there is a lot of unfair behavior in the drafting of contracts?

Unfortunately yes. And there, we are rather angry because all the same for seven years, 2015, there is a standard contract to follow to the letter. So just duplicate it and put the syndic’s rates. And we realize that despite this very regulatory provision, the trustees are freed from a certain number of rules, fiddle with the contracts and we end up with contracts that are for the most part unfair where things that are necessary are missing. Sometimes there are even contracts that do not provide for general meetings of co-ownership.

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