The French government has just issued new rules for the operation and management of 'syndics' - the professional building managers who look after multi-occupancy properties on behalf of their co-owners, such as blocks of apartments or private estates.
The emphasis of the new regulations is on greater transparency in relation to the financial management of the building, including right of access to documents such as estimates and invoices received for building and maintenance, and clarification of management charges. The new law also forebids demands for additional payments for information such as a copy of the syndic rules, building plans and explanation of the maintenance charges - all information that would typically be requested by someone considering buying a property in the building.
The changes reflect the government's concern about criticisms of some professional syndics that have been widely expressed on French television and in some consumer magazines, in particular relating to the activities of several syndic organisations which have recently become subsidiaries of major finance and banking groups.
Source: Arreté 19 March 2010 modifying that of 2 December 1986, JORF 21 March 2010 p 5673.