'Les charges': Why owning and renting apartments in France is becoming more costly

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 6 Feb, 2023 Updated Mon 6 Feb 2023 16:07 CEST
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Toulouse, France (Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP)

The joint ownership fees (les charges de copropriété) for apartments in France or are in the rise meaning renters and property owners could shell out more in 2023.

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In France, renting and owning property is becoming more expensive as les charges - joint ownership fees for shared apartment buildings - are on the rise due to inflation.

These charges - or fees associated with building upkeep and management - impact those living in copropriétés - a type of building that is split up into several different apartments that are individually owned. It is also the name of the individuals who together make up the co-owners of that shared building.


Even though yearly budgets are voted on during a general meeting of the building's co-owners, fees are still likely to increase as inflation pushes up the cost for things like energy, raw materials, and the hiring of managing agents (syndic) for the building.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about les charges de copropiété in France

"For the moment, we do not know exactly how much copropriété fees will increase by - as co-owners are preparing their 2023 budgets based on expenses from 2022, but we must be prepared for a significant increase," Olivier Safar, president of the co-ownership syndic Gérard Safar, told Le Monde on February 3rd.

Despite the price shield (bouclier tarifaire) that the French government put in place to limit electricity and gas price hikes from climbing above 15 percent amid inflation, costs will likely raise for property owners living in copropriétés in France. 

READ MORE: France to set maximum 15 percent gas and electricity price rises for 2023

For a copropriété that offers collective heating, this expense typically represents at least a quarter of the yearly budget for charges according to L'Obs, so even the cap of 15 percent will still make it so that charges rise.

On top of that, even with the government's energy price cap, buildings that offer collective heating will have to pay for high costs first and then be reimbursed by the government, according to Safar. 

"The system is set up in such a way that buildings advance the cash and are then reimbursed," Safar explained, adding that some copropriété may not end up benefiting from the shield due to the complex administrative procedures required to receive it as a copropriété.

Copropriétés also have to cope with other ways that rising inflation impacts charges. For instance, the costs related elevator maintenance saw an increase of 9.1 percent since 2021, according to L'Obs.

Additionally, building construction work has become more expensive as well. Raw materials, like wood and various metals, have increased in price. Other essential services such as cleaning and garbage collection have also gone up thanks to the impact of inflation. This also poses a problem for copropriétés as they are often locked in contractually to certain service providers, and these contracts typically include stipulations for increased prices in the construction sector. 

Copropriétés must also hire managing agents - or syndics in French - who have also increased their rates since 2021, particularly in the Paris region where rates rose by 8.7 percent according to Meilleur Taux.


Generally, fees had been on the rise already for homeowners in France. According to the Association for Copropriété Managers (ARC), the average cost of fees in France for co-owners have reportedly already increased at least 50 percent in the last 10 years.



The Local 2023/02/06 16:07

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