Is it up to the union to pay the lawyer’s fees to recover unpaid charges?

The editorial staff of Le Particulier Immobilier brings you its expertise on tax and regulatory issues closely affecting the world of co-ownership, rental investment, etc.

The lawyer’s fees paid to initiate proceedings for the recovery of unpaid charges in court against a debtor co-owner do not appear in the list of costs attributable solely to the co-owner concerned (art. 10-1, al. 2, of law n° 65-557 of 6.7.65).

Only the costs incurred by the syndicate relating to out-of-court recovery services (formal notice, reminder, mortgage, bailiff’s deed, special fees of the trustee, etc.) are included.

The lawyer’s fees therefore remain the responsibility of the syndicate and are calculated in proportion to the shares of general expenses, including those of the debtor co-owner. But these fees can be partly recovered under article 700 of the code of civil procedure, provided that the request, made by the union, is accepted by the judge. Note that if the co-owner wins against the syndicate, he will be exempted from paying the costs of the procedure, which will then be shared among the other co-owners…

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