Applicable Law

1. In your national system, do you have an arrangement which broadly follows that description? If so, what is it called in your language(s)? Please describe it in this factsheet.

In Belgian law, there are three forms of co-ownership:

  • Ordinary co-ownership: two or more persons own concurrent one object.
  • Forced co-ownership: two or more persons own concurrent one immovable object and that immovable object is an accessorium of two or more (principal) immovable objects (e.g. a swimming pool for 5 houses)—hence, forced co-ownership: the co-ownership cannot be ended;
  • Forced co-ownership of buildings: forced co-ownership applied to a building divided in apartments—the classical condominium.

Terminology (Dutch / French):

Co-ownership: mede-eigendom / copropriété.
Ordinary co-ownership: gewone mede-eigendom / copropriété ordinaire.
Forced co-ownership: gedwongen mede-eigendom / copropriété force.
Forced co-ownership of buildings: gedwongen mede-eigendom van gebouwen / copropriété forcée des immeubles bâtis.

2. If your national system does not have an arrangement like that, or if it does, but also has a different arrangement which is commonly used to govern the ownership of apartments, please also describe, in this fact sheet, the arrangements commonly used.

Condominium is not to be confused with, for example, time share arrangements or successive ownership.

3. In your national system, which laws or regulations rule the arrangements you describe (or are relevant for them)?

The three forms of co-ownership are governed by the rules to be found in the Belgian Civil Code, articles 577-2 to 577-14 (as interpreted by the judges (case law), following or not an interpretation proposed by the learned authors (doctrine).

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