How do I find a trustworthy syndic?

Many second homes, especially on the Belgian Coast, are apartments in apartment buildings. Owners of these apartments – permanent residents, non-permanent residents and landlords – are then in a relationship of forced co-ownership and together form an association of co-owners.

More than once, the co-owners complain about a lack of transparency on the part of the property manager (the “syndic”). The property management agency refuses to submit the invoices on which its accounts are based, the property management agency acts in concert with the building promoter, the property management agency sets up a commission for the appointment of contractors,…’. It’s just a few recurring complaints. Unfortunately, there are also stories of syndicates plundering the accounts of the co-owners. A recent example (reported by a Flemish newspaper) can be read here (in Dutch).

Unfortunately, there are no lists of ‘trustworthy’ syndics. One can of course turn to other associations of co-owners to find out about their experiences. Since 2018, associations of co-owners must register in theCrossroads Bank for Enterprises who they have appointed as syndic.

One of the objectives of TWERES is to facilitate this exchange of experience with property management agencies (e.g. by collecting quality assessments).

Absurd corona rules: From 21 May onwards, people were allowed to return to their second residence in Belgium, but not on the other side of the country border.

When on 21 May 2002, under pressure of a threatening legal procedure, it was hastily decided in Belgium that people could return to their second residence, this was a relief for many. After all, no one understood why shopping was allowed on the Meir in Antwerp or on the rue Neuve in Brussels as early as 11 May, while the ban on second-residents remained in place (originally it was even decided to maintain the ban “at least” until 8 June!).

At that time, campsites and holiday parks in the Netherlands were already open for some time. Dutch and Germans could go to their holiday home or mobile home in the Netherlands unhindered. However, Belgians were stopped at the border by the Belgian police. That rightly provoked furious reactions:

  • “I have a new caravan on a rental plot on a camping site in the Netherlands.
    The campsite is open under strict conditions such as having your own toilet… keep your distance. Germans and Dutch are present but as a European (Belgian) I am not allowed to go there because I am not allowed to cross the Belgian border. Hopefully our caravan is still there and hasn’t been robbed. You are allowed to go to an amusement park or cycle with 20 people but not to cross the border. Finally we are allowed to visit the second residence now, but unfortunately only within Belgium”.
  • “Where can I be safer for corona contamination than in my second stay just across the border in Belgium.”
  • “I bought a mobile home in Holland. Since the end of February everything is finally connected but we are not allowed to go there”.
  • “The Belgian government won’t let us return to our mobile home in Zeeland. We have a written approval from the caravan park and we were already allowed to go back from May 1st 2020. We are just not allowed by Belgian politics. The same compatriots with 2nd residence are allowed back in Belgium, but not 10 km across the border in Zeeland. Please help us!”