Amendment to the Act on Ownership of Apartments and Non-residential Premises

Written by Mgr. Erik Schváb, attorney

From 1 April 2024, an amendment to the Act on Ownership of Apartments and Non-residential Premises (Act No. 182/1993 Coll. on Ownership of Apartments and Non-residential Premises) (hereinafter referred to as the "Amendment") shall enter into force. 

The Amendment Act was adopted as part of the reform of the construction legislation under Act No 205/2023 Coll., but its entry into force has been postponed until 2025 (namely the month of April). However, the said Amendment will continue to be effective as of 1 April 2024, introducing in particular new definitions, their further specification, and de facto amending comprehensively only Sections 1 and 2 of the said Act.  

The Amendment Act explicitly provides that the Act on Ownership of apartments and non-residential premises does not apply to family houses with only one apartment. 

As concrete examples of the definition of the new terms, we can cite the following: 

According to the new wording, a residential building is defined as a building in which (i) more than half of the floor area is intended for residential use, (ii) apartments and non-residential premises are owned or co-owned by individual owners, and (iii) common parts and common facilities are at the same time co-owned by the owners of such apartments and non-residential premises. 

Conversely, a non-residential building will be a building in which less than half of the floor area is devoted to residential use, the conditions under (ii) and (iii) being the same as in the definition of a residential building. 

According to the Amendment, an apartment means a room or a set of rooms that are designated for housing as a separate dwelling unit by the building authority's certificate of approval. 

The floor area will be calculated as the area of all rooms of the apartment or non-residential premise excluding the area of the balcony, loggia and terrace, except for the terrace, which is not a common part of the building; the floor area of the apartment also includes the area of the rooms that form the accessories of the apartment. 

The accessories of the apartment are (within the meaning of Section 121 of the Civil Code) the ancillary rooms and spaces intended to be used with the apartment. The specific designation of this type of accessory is determined by the structural and technical layout of the residential building in which the apartments are located. Ancillary rooms are related to the dwelling and are generally located directly in the dwelling (anterooms, storage rooms, etc.). Other rooms are outside the dwelling and are spaces of importance for the proper use of the dwelling and provide additional useful areas (e.g. cellars, lofts, coach rooms, etc.). 

Further, the Amendment negatively defines when house management is not required. The obligation of house management does not apply to family houses and buildings in which all apartments and all non-residential premises are owned by the same owner. The management obligation arises if at least one apartment or one non-residential premises is acquired by another owner. 

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