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Question about Czynsz (Building maintenance fees/utilies) in Poland


LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
28 Jul 2011  #1
Hi all,
I have a question concerning the buidling maintenance fees (czynsz) owners pay per month or per year in Poland?

I have a flat and i receive bills with vague details written based on the size of my flat( the square meters) on a Xcell sheet that i pay but i have never received any details on how the whole building is managed /about the buidling management ( name of the owners,what they pay, official bills from Water supplier, works in the building etc).

I ahve never received any meeting papers for some possible boards regarding decisions in the building management each year.

is that normal? Are there any rules regarding this? How do the owners check that they are not beeing overcharged and paying fictitious amounts?
What is the law ? How do we check ?

Thanks for your info .
inkrakow 1 | 98
28 Jul 2011  #2
The short answer is that yes, there are rules, but it depends on your particular situation. If your administrator doesn't respond to your requests for information, you should talk to a lawyer about sending an official letter and trying to extract the information that way. The administrator can carry out minor repairs without approval of the owners, but all major building works need to be approved by a majority. He/she should also give you a statement of the balance in the renovation fund if you have one.

It's easy, but time consuming, to check who the other owners in the building are by checking the Księgi Wieczyste or getting an extract from the land register at the local Geodezja office, which I believe will also give you addresses as well as names.
OP LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
28 Jul 2011  #3
inkrakow
My question was more about who pays what in a building rather than who owns what and my surprise at the fact that people just pay their czynsz /maintenance fees by receiving a bill without any explanation.

In the US and anywhere in Europe, one expects to be able to check the maintenance costs of a building per year and with all details and it is customery to receive a lot of documents and copies of the total cost per year for electricity ,water, cleaning fees of the buidling in which you own a place+ a meeting for the co owners.
inkrakow 1 | 98
28 Jul 2011  #4
my surprise at the fact that people just pay their czynsz /maintenance fees by receiving a bill without any explanation.

Usually, they don't. I get a break down of what everyone is due to pay and at the end of the year, a statement about how much they've actually paid, a full set of accounts and photocopies of all the invoices and bills. Other people I know get the same and regularly have management company meetings to plan how they're going to spend their Fundusz Remontowy.

What does your administrator tell you when you ask for this information?
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
29 Jul 2011  #5
and my surprise at the fact that people just pay their czynsz /maintenance fees by receiving a bill without any explanation.

Until my czynsz (290zł pcm) is lower than Kowalski's czynsz (650zł pcm) who is living in the bulding on the other side of my street im not curious about any details. The general rule is: new building - low czynsz.
bilbo
19 Aug 2011  #6
Hi guys.

Im from Italy and I have the same prob with this "czynsz".
The question is: this fee has to be paid by the landlord (owner) or by someone who live in the house, let's say the tenant?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
19 Aug 2011  #7
The question is: this fee has to be paid by the landlord (owner) or by someone who live in the house, let's say the tenant?

Up for negotiation. However, general practice in Poland is that it's paid by the tenant.
OP LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
19 Aug 2011  #8
The Czynsz /utilities system is absolutely not transparent and crazy in Poland and it has to change!
I am a landlord and i pay my Czynsz( i include it in the tenant 's rent for less bureaucracy and because i rent for 1 year max) but there is no way for me to check that the woman who is "the administrator" of our residence charges in an honest way what each person owes for water, building electricity, building cleaning, Building repairs etc.

HOW COME WE DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE OFFICIAL INVOICES from TAURON'(electricity)?
HOW COME We DO NOT KNOW WhAT THE OTHER RESiDENTS PAY BASED ON THE SQUARE METERS OF THE APARTMENTS?

This Administrator also owns some apartements in our buildings herself and there is no way to know if she is herself paying what she owes !!!

( not to mention that she was a former employee of the developer who built our flats and suddenly became administrator whith her own business, seems that pretty anyone can incorporate as a company dealing with Czynsz in Poland!)

She just sends her invoices and that's all she might just aswell charge me any amount she wants because apart from the water consumption which i can check with the meter, there is absolutely nothing i can control .

I was never ever refunded for any thing i might have paid too much in the Fundunsz remontowy.
Crazy.and a rip off.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
19 Aug 2011  #9
but there is no way for me to check that the woman who is "the administrator" of our residence charges in an honest way what each person owes for water, building electricity, building cleaning, Building repairs etc.

Don't you have a contract with the administrator?

HOW COME WE DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE OFFICIAL INVOICES from TAURON'(electricity)?
HOW COME We DO NOT KNOW WhAT THE OTHER RESiDENTS PAY BASED ON THE SQUARE METERS OF THE APARTMENTS?

Both of these should be available upon request - if they're not, then you're almost certainly being ripped off. Incidentally - why not get your own electricity meter?

This Administrator also owns some apartements in our buildings herself and there is no way to know if she is herself paying what she owes !!!

Why on earth did you buy a flat in such a locality? There should be no conflict of interest in a situation like this - it's pretty obvious that she'll manipulate things for her own good.

( not to mention that she was a former employee of the developer who built our flats and suddenly became administrator whith her own business, seems that pretty anyone can incorporate as a company dealing with Czynsz in Poland!)

Of course anyone can, it's a business like any other. But if it was above board, you can remove her as the administrator - but the fact that she also owns flats there makes things very complicated.

She just sends her invoices and that's all she might just aswell charge me any amount she wants because apart from the water consumption which i can check with the meter, there is absolutely nothing i can control .

Again - why on earth did you buy a flat in such a situation? Seems madness to me.

Crazy. and a rip off.

Careful - you posted the address of the flat on here.
OP LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
19 Aug 2011  #10
Thanks Delphiandomine for your advice( is there a Polish law saying that these bills should be available upon request ?) but we had no choice , i do not have a contract with this administrator she is the one who is in charge of our residence ,all the flats are in the same situation.

I suppose her contract is renewed every year by the co owners board but i never received any invitation to those meetings.

I am not speaking of my own electricity bills which i receive for my private apartment but about the building staircase electricity.

Also delphiandomine , many Poles i know who live in Krakow are in the same situation but far more accepting than i am . If they receive a bill they just pay assuming all is in order and official.They don't seem to question their Czyncz cost.

I am not complaining about how the buildings are beeing managed in terms of cleanliness,etc it is just that i would like to see like in Germany France Uk US the year budget forecasted for the maintenance and how it is split among owners and the official bills from suppliers of the building.

Do you know what i mean ?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
19 Aug 2011  #11
Thanks Delphiandomine for your advice( is there a Polish law saying that these bills should be available upon request ?) but we had no choice , i do not have a contract with this administrator she is the one who is in charge of our residence ,all the flats are in the same situation.

Ouch.

My advice is to sell this place and buy somewhere else - it's only going to end in tears. You should have a contract with the administrator, and there should be clear procedures as to yearly meetings and so on. For instance, where I live - it's a huge housing cooperative. All the data is available on request, there are yearly meetings where the accounts are discussed - all in all, quite transparent.

I suppose her contract is renewed every year by the co owners board but i never received any invitation to those meetings.

You should certainly be invited and informed as to when they are.

I am not speaking of my own electricity bills which i receive for my private apartment but about the building staircase electricity.

This should be absolutely tiny - I'd certainly be asking for copies of the bills.

Do you know what i mean ?

Yep - I do. This situation sounds incredibly dodgy - it's not normal, even in Poland.

What I'd do is start by asking for official copies of the minutes from the owners meetings, along with demanding a copy of the contract between the owners and the administration.

( is there a Polish law saying that these bills should be available upon request ?)

There may not be a law, but there's usually a way to put pressure on such people. What I'd do is contact the other owners first, if you can.

Incidentally, this crap happens all over the world - I was reading a while ago about a developer in Switzerland who made some really beautiful flats - then made the stairwell look like something from a Russian prison. As it wasn't mentioned in the contract, there was nothing the owners could do.

I don't think you can win here, unfortunately - it strikes me that the "administrator" will be doing very well for herself out of such an arrangement.

Of course - there's nothing stopping you calling an owners meeting, too.
OP LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
19 Aug 2011  #12
Thanks delphiandomine I will contact some other owners since the administrator never answers my emails or she says yes but i never get these documents.
inkrakow 1 | 98
19 Aug 2011  #13
is there a Polish law saying that these bills should be available upon request ?

Of course there is - Art. 208 of the Kodeks Cywilny. If you don't get anywhere, Art. 203 allows you to appeal to the court to appoint an administrator.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
19 Aug 2011  #14
Art. 208 of the Kodeks Cywilny

prawo.money.pl/kodeks/cywilny/dzial-iv-wspolwlasnosc/art-208

What can also be done is asking for a proper breakdown of charges for tax purposes. If she's up to no good - you'll soon find out.
OP LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
20 Aug 2011  #15
Thank you so much to you both Delphiandomine and Inkrakow , this is a tremendous help for me that there is a law i can use as a reference .
patrick 6 | 113
4 Oct 2011  #16
Merged: What is a lot for czynsz?

I own and rent out to studentki an old run down flat in an old run down kamienica in Poznan, and the czynsz just went up from 522 to 670/month. It seems like a lot. Part of that is the fundusz remontowy, which my wife says will cease to be charged once all the improvements have been made. But when in the hell will that be? The stairwell is circa 1945 and many other things need to be done to the building. Is it possible that the building association will one day stop charging for the renovations?
terri 1 | 1,620
4 Oct 2011  #17
For a start, if you pay czynsz to an administrator, (and own a flat in the building) then it may be that you are also a part-owner of the whole building. I know this seems obvious, but it's not always the case. However, this will be clearly stated in your Deeds (Akt Notarialny).

Secondly, all owners should organise meetings, where the order of any major repairs will be discussed as well as quotations for work etc.
Thirdly, each one of you should receive a statement saying on what basis your czynsz is calculated - (usually per sq metre of your flat) and it should be easy to calculate how much of each bill (joint electricity, rubbish removal, insurance, chimney inspection, gas inspection) you should pay.

In my building (kamienica) we have only recently established an improvement/maintenance fund (fundusz remontowy) and can already see what work has been carried out. We have meetings every quarter, all are minuted and any decisions are countersigned by all owners.

Do not pay anything unless you have ewidence of how it's calculated and what it is being spent on. What evidence do you have that the administrator is not pocketing the money and will in future STRONGLY deny that you have ever given her anything.......
patrick 6 | 113
5 Oct 2011  #18
Yes Teri we have all of those things, but is 670 a month a lot? And is it possible that the fundusz will someday stop? The reason I seem out of the loop on all this is that we live in a different country and manage the place from there. We're not always up on the current goings-on in the building.
inkrakow 1 | 98
5 Oct 2011  #19
is 670 a month a lot?

Standard rate for an administrator to administer is about 1-1.5zl/m2 which should include building insurance, lighting of common parts (stairs etc), cleaning, minor repairs.

Then there's the Fundusz Remontowy on top, which depends on what the co-owners decide. For example, we've settled for 2zl/m2, but I'd prefer it to be 3-4zl/m2 so that we can gather the funds to do the work quicker. It is entirely feasible that once work is done, you will have a vote and this part can be reduced.
patrick 6 | 113
5 Oct 2011  #20
The place is 76m2. What you haven't included in your list is trash and scieki (as my wife calls it). There's also 300+ for the fundusz. I am not worried about the management company cheating me, because we get all those statements when we do make it back to Poland (we live in another country). It seems like 670 is pretty steep considering that a school teacher takes home about twice that a month. I'm just always blown away at how much stuff costs in Poland in comparison to what people earn.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
5 Oct 2011  #21
It seems like 670 is pretty steep considering that a school teacher takes home about twice that a month.

But most/all services are included in that.

As for a school teacher taking home twice that - only the very lowest ones, who are unlikely to be living in 76sqm apartments in the centre of the city anyway.
inkrakow 1 | 98
6 Oct 2011  #22
It seems like 670 is pretty steep considering that a school teacher takes home about twice that a month

You're right - it does sounds very steep. I don't know whether this is standard practice but in our set up, the rubbish and water/scieki are calculated on the basis of how many people actually live in the place (I'll dig out our charges for place in central Krakow when I have some time). Does it include heating (central or district) too? And you're paying quite a bit for the fundusz remontowy as well...
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
6 Oct 2011  #23
You're right - it does sounds very steep.

It's not that high for Poznan - around 600zl a month is normal in the big housing cooperatives. Stands to reason that a single kamenica would have higher bills. But that 600zl does include everything but electricity.

And you're paying quite a bit for the fundusz remontowy as well...

Not that much if you consider that the whole thing probably needs thoroughly renovated.
patrick 6 | 113
6 Oct 2011  #24
The inside of the building is post-WW2, really. The outside is alright, but the place needs a lot of serious work. They just replaced all the water and gas pipes. There's also the roof to do and the stairwell. It seems to be a bit only when I take into consideration how much people earn in Poland.

inkrakow, you don't need to dig up old bills. Thanks though.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
6 Oct 2011  #25
Patrick, if you give me the address of the Kamenica, I'll be happy to keep an eye on the work for you if you want?

It's no bother to take a look once in a while for you to make sure that something is actually happening for your money.
patrick 6 | 113
6 Oct 2011  #26
That's very kind of you, but it's fine. As I wrote, I don't feel that we are being cheated, but am in shock at the cost of things in Poland.
milky 13 | 1,657
4 Jan 2012  #27
but am in shock at the cost of things in Poland.

Yea, tell me about it;makes humanity look weak and subservient, the West has a long fall in front of itself, going by the sh1t that people so passively accept here. In Ireland people say that blood will spill if thing get much worse. Well! going by whats happening here, I reckon the Irish are or might be simply flirting with bravado. However, The Pole just accept that it will always be ****; Stalin damage,I reckon.
Anna2016
17 Oct 2016  #28
Merged: What is this shady CZYNSZ in Poland (community administration) and how can it cost over 12,000 ZL each year?

What is this CZYNSZ (community administration) and how can it cost over 12,000 ZL each year for each apartment?

I come from Slovenia, in Slovenia we pay rent and the utilities bills (heating, electricity, water).
And an administration cost that is approximately 25 eur per YEAR.

But here in Warsaw, most real estate ads for rental are very misleading.

They advertise 1500 ZL per month, but in truth, the cost per month is actually

1500 ZL rent plus 300 ZL utilities bills plus this insane 1000 ZL per month CZYNSZ !!!!

Anyone can make any sense of this insanity?

So in Slovenia the administration costs are abnout 100 ZL equivalent per year,... but in Poland they are 12,000 ZL per
small apartment?

I can imagine these administrators of communities in Poland are multi billionaires,
if they get 12,000 ZL from each apartment every year
jon357 63 | 14,122
17 Oct 2016  #29
Service charge which often (though not always) covers heating and repair/improvements fund. It's a matter for whoever owns the flat. It looks like the person is trying to justify the rent of 2500 by implying he/she will only get 1500 of it.

That's a high czynsz though, and given that 1500/2500 is not the price of a luxury flat I would personally avoid that particular offer since it's a bad sign of future problems and of course right now in Warsaw it's very much a renter's market.
Nojas 4 | 110
17 Oct 2016  #30
It doesn't make sense.

I pay 470 pln a month in czynsz and "utility bills" (water, central heating, garbage, general admin) is included in that. During summer I go below it (in winter above it) and would get money back from my landlord. Do you live in luxury apartment with reception and doormen and perhaps a bellhop? :)

If you have that plus a personal ass-wiper on a daily basis it sounds reasonable, but other than that no.


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