Appointment with the notary


I managed to attend both meetings with the notary, which I found very interesting.

One thing important thing that I learned is that price is not the issue when comparing notaries, because their income is legally determined as a % of the act that they are delivering. Regardless of the complexity of your file, a notary’s services are for free.

From that perspective I figured I list my impressions for both appointments, and then maybe Céline and Ugne can add theirs?

For the first appointment:

  • Very kind people (notary + assistant), very nice interaction.
  • Fluent in Dutch, English and supposedly French (they deliver “acts” in French).
  • Recommended by Mark. Worked with Brutopia and also Cohousing Gumm in Mechelen. Said to be an advisor for lawmakers when it comes to cohousing.
  • If one would want to, you can get your individual act in Dutch (that doesn’t seem like a good idea in Brussels though). A translation of the basic “act” in Dutch would have to be paid extra though.
  • Asked about how they work they said that their assistant would regularly interact with some people of our Team Legal, and that they would accompany us along the entire journey.

Anybody knows the translation of “acte” (fr) / “akte” (nl)? English mixed with Dutch seems like unavoidable in this case.

For the second appointment:

  • Very kind guy (notary himself), very nice interaction. He even said that he really likes the human aspect of his job and that he likes to meet up with his groups. With Vosberg for example he met up for about 8 times (on Saturday mornings).
  • Absolute expert in cohousings. He has done about 100-120 groups since 2002.
  • Also an academic researcher.
  • Gives the impression to be very hands on. He gave several examples of how he likes to help his groups to structure things and not make unnecessary legal mistakes. He showed us an example of a preliminary contract for Full Members that seemed very sensible and practical.
  • He likes to interact with his groups himself (but he is helped by an office of 17 people).
  • He reads and understands English and Dutch, but doesn’t speak it.

Other things I learned:

  • The stage until there is an “act” is a bit more tricky, because there are no individual property rights yet. Therefore it’s important to keep this stage as short as possible.
  • Schaarbeek and Saint-Gilles have put in place legislation for cohousings that is not necessary in line with the law, so this can cause a bit of misery (I think this refers to legislation put in place to limit gentrification by companies like Cohabs).
  • Some communes are more difficult than others when it comes to building permits. This includes Saint-Gilles, Etterbeek (complex) and Uccle and Woluwe St Pierre (not simple).
  • One needs to pay a lot of attention to the pollution of the soil when purchasing a site (ping @reef-building). Owners are aware that cohousing groups are not professionals, and so they will hide this information (so we got to go after it right away). Never negotiate the price without knowing about the history of pollution.
  • Mixed opinions about cooperatives. One said “yes this could be interesting if you want to receive revenue”, the other said “no, this creates to much administration because you need to file your accounts and deal with taxes” (you can’t receive revenue from professionals though).

Edit: we also received two files with extra information, which I saved in the folder of Team Finance > Notary (internal link).


Thanks for this update - sounds like a lot of relevant info! Also good to know about the tips regarding the communes and the pollution!! “Acte”, I think is simply “document” or “official document” in English. I also found the translation of “deed”.

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Now that you mention it, this is indeed the word that the Dutch-speaking office used when speaking English.

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This is golden information, thank you so much.

Thanks for sharing!

if you dont create a coop the alternative is ? my guess : asbl or copropriete . a lot will depend what is our goal behind . do we want to make money(but interesse)? then coop would be the best option

thank you for the summary …

for the records, here you have, in a single linkedin post a list

  • List of lawyers experts in copropiete

  • they are writing a book about it (legal book)