How and when can you sell the concierge’s property in your building?

Deco Alert: what can you do with the empty doorman's flat? / Golden Box Mail
Deco Alert: what can you do with the empty doorman's flat? / Golden Box Mail
8 August 2018, Redaction

Do you have a doorman in your apartment building, or did there used to be one? Is there a flat set aside for this porter to live in but now it’s empty? Do the neighbours intend to sell it to increase the community's income?

In today's article secured for idealista/news by Deco (the Portuguese Association in Defence of Consumer Rights), we will explain the procedures necessary to sell this apartment.

"For almost 35 years, our building had a very competent woman as the doorkeeper who always lived in the house where she worked. Recently, having reached retirement age, she retired and intends to return to her native land, in the north of the country. Thus, at the last neighbours' meeting, the question of her old house was discussed, which will now be uninhabited. Is it possible to sell this property and how?"

The doorman's house is the common expression used to refer to the part of the building in which the concierge lives or used to live. It is technically included in the communal areas belonging to the community of homeowners, and once sold the profits go towards the coffers of the homeowners’ association.

However, to answer the reader’s question we need to know the type of contract that exists between the parties, the concierge and the condominium, i.e. whether we are dealing with a lease or a contract of employment.

From the account sent to us by the concerned property owner, we think that this is a contract for the exercise of the profession of concierge, which includes a certain remuneration and the concession of a space to live in. So when the employment contract ended, the employee’s right to use the house expired as well. Thus, the apartment is free.

For everything to go well, the community administration must begin by informing the doorman or woman, by registered letter with notice of receipt, of the expiry of the employment contract and the rights relating to the house.

With everything made perfectly clear and everyone fully informed, the community can go ahead and sell their common property, needing only the unanimous approval of all the neighbours.

If said flat is not yet a standalone part of the building, the title of the condominium and the details in the land registry must be changed for it to be handed over to the homeowners’ association.

From that moment on, these steps will have to be followed:

  • Application for the energy certificate;
  • Obtaining and updating the deed of purchase and sale;
  • Distribution of the sale amount among all the neighbours, in proportion to the value of their fractions;
  • Declaration from each neighbour in the building to the tax office of the amount they received, for the purpose of calculating the capital gains tax.

In this way, it is possible, and maybe even desirable, to sell the old, unused doorman’s flat in your apartment block. Just make sure you follow all the procedures to avoid getting into trouble.

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