Condominium repairs: who pays and how to obtain reimbursement


Emma Potter

Living in a building in deteriorating conditions can become a source of daily inconvenience, especially when other condominium owners show no interest in tackling the necessary repairs.

But what happens when you decide to advance the costs to improve the common areas? Is it possible to obtain reimbursement for expenses incurred? The answer to this question is found in article 1134 of the civil code.

Read on to find out what conditions are necessary to obtain a refund and how to proceed correctly.

When you can get a refund

Article 1134 of the civil code establishes that a condominium owner who, on his own initiative and without being authorized by the assembly or the administrator, incurs expenses for the interest of all the owners, is entitled to reimbursement only if it is a urgent expense.

For example, let's think of a cornice that risks falling and causing damage to people or parked vehicles. Another case could be that of water leaks from the roof that are seriously damaging an apartment, or a lift that has been broken for several weeks without the condominium providing repairs.

Article 1134.
Individual initiative management

The condominium owner who has taken over the management of the common areas without authorization from the administrator or the assembly is not entitled to reimbursement, unless it concerns an urgent expense.

In order for a condominium owner to obtain reimbursement for the expenses incurred, the inertia of the other condominium owners is not sufficient: the expense must actually be urgent.

The definition of urgent expenditure

It is not enough that the other condominium owners are neglected or that it is difficult to obtain their consent in the assembly to justify the expense of a single condominium owner. According to article 1134 of the civil code, the expenditure must be urgent.

This principle was further clarified by the Supreme Court in sentence no. 2046/2006, which specifies that an expense is considered urgent if it appears to be indifferent to avoid possible (although not certain) damage to the building and its common parts.

The urgency must be such that not being able to wait the normal times of convening the condominium meeting or the intervention of the administrator. For example, repairing a leaking roof or a crumbling cornice requires immediate intervention to avoid serious damage or accidents.

How to obtain reimbursement of expenses incurred

To obtain reimbursement of expenses incurred, the condominium owner must demonstrate the urgency of the works, their non-deferrability and the fact that they were unable to notify the administrator or the other condominium owners within a reasonable time.

After carrying out the urgent intervention, it is necessary to present documentation certifying the work carried out and the expenses incurred, such as invoices and receipts, together with a report explaining why the intervention was urgent and could not be deferred.

Once the documentation has been presented, the condominium meeting will have to evaluate the reimbursement request. If the expense is recognized as urgent and necessary, reimbursement should be approved.

In case of disagreement, the condominium owner can appeal to the judge to assert his right to reimbursement.

To better clarify which expenses are considered urgent, let's look at some practical examples. The Court of Cassation has established that urgent expenses are those which, if not carried out immediately, could cause significant damage to the building or its common parts.

Examples of such expenses include:

  • Repairing a crumbling cornice that could fall and cause damage to people or property.
  • Interventions to stop water infiltrations that are damaging the internal structures of the building.
  • Repairing a broken elevator that prevents access to the upper floors, especially in buildings where elderly or disabled people live.

These examples clearly show that the expense must be non-deferrable and necessary to prevent damage or dangerous situations.


In summary, anticipating the costs of repairs to the common parts of a condominium can be a risky move if the conditions established by article 1134 of the civil code are not respected. Only urgent expenses, necessary to avoid immediate and significant damage to the building or its common parts, can be reimbursed. It is essential that the condominium owner who bears these expenses adequately documents the urgency and necessity of the interventions carried out.

Knowing your rights and the rules that regulate condominium life is essential to avoid unpleasant surprises and to ensure that your actions are recognized and reimbursed. Have you ever faced a similar situation in your condominium? How did you manage emergency expenses?