Reserve fund: understand 100%

When paying the monthly condominium fees, doubts often arise regarding the need to contribute to the Reserve Fund. It is important to clarify that this fund constitutes a mandatory responsibility shared by all condominium owners.

This article will cover the relevant points about the Reserve Fund, as well as the individual responsibilities of each condominium owner.

Fundo de reserva

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Is the Reserve Fund mandatory?

As well as the payment of quotas, the contribution to the Common Reserve Fund is mandatory, as stipulated by article 4 of decree-law nº 268/94 of October 25th. This fund is intended to support the conservation costs of the building or group of buildings. Each condominium owner is obliged to contribute at least 10% of their share of the remaining condominium expenses. For example, if a condominium owner’s monthly fee is 40 euros, he or she must allocate at least 4 euros to the Common Reserve Fund.

Utility of the Reserve Fund

Under Decree-Law No. 268/94, of October 25, this fund is intended to finance expenses related to future conservation and maintenance works of the building, including facade painting, improvement of security systems, maintenance of elevators , roof repairs and other interventions necessary to preserve common heritage. It is important to highlight that the fund should not be used to finance works in autonomous units, being intended only for improvements that benefit the entire building.


Payment of the Reserve Fund is the responsibility of all condominium owners, with a view to preserving the building and building security, through mandatory savings intended to deal with possible needs for more expensive works. It is important to highlight that, if the Common Reserve Fund is not sufficient to finance the building’s conservation works, condominium owners may be asked to make an additional contribution, such as an extraordinary contribution, to cover the necessary costs.

The condominium assembly and the condominium administrator are responsible for managing the Reserve Fund, ensuring its application in a transparent manner and aligned with the condominium’s needs. The management of the condominium’s reserve fund, carried out by the condominium assembly and the administrator, ensures the conservation of the building and allows for long-term planning, preventing financial surprises and unforeseen situations.

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Como é calculado o Fundo de Reserva?​

The total amount to be paid to the Reserve Fund by the condominium is calculated based on the condominium’s annual expense budget. The law provides for a mandatory minimum limit of 10% of this budget, multiplied by the permilage of the autonomous fraction. However, the assembly may decide on a higher percentage value.

In other words, if the annual budget of my building is €4000, the contribution to the Common Reserve Fund of the condominium as a whole is at least 10% of this value, resulting in an annual contribution of €400. Thus, if my fraction permilage was 20%, my monthly contribution to the Fund would be €80.

Generally, the value is calculated based on the permilage, because unless otherwise provided in the constitutive title, condominium regulations or meeting minutes, the owners of the fractions must bear the expenses of conservation and use of the building by paying proportionally to the value of their units. However, there are condominiums that adopt different ways of distributing expenses, regardless of the permiles. In certain situations, condominium owners contribute equally – they all make contributions in the same amount. This decision must be registered in the condominium’s internal regulations and requires unopposed approval by the majority of condominium owners who represent the majority of the building’s total value.

Where should the Reserve Fund be stored?

Similar to the payment of dues, the amount allocated to the Reserve Fund must be deposited in a financial entity by the building administrator. Fund movements can only be carried out after approval at a meeting and by the condominium administrator. Contributions to the Reserve Fund must be deposited in a term account in the name of the condominium, and the use of an account designated for the condominium is mandatory. The legislation expressly prohibits the use of personal accounts in the management of the condominium, ensuring the protection of residents and financial transparency.

Can I use the Reserve Fund beyond conservation?

The Common Reserve Fund may eventually be used for other purposes upon approval by the assembly. If used for purposes other than conservation, full reimbursement by condominium owners is mandatory within a maximum period of one year. The administrator must ensure the replacement of the amount spent, not intended for conservation.

Can I refuse payment?

If any condominium owner refuses to contribute to the reserve fund, it is important to explain that it is a mandatory fund that benefits all inhabitants of the building. If the most friendly approach is not enough, it is possible to resort to legal means with the intermediation of a lawyer to recover the amounts of outstanding contributions. In this case, it is important to have a certified copy of the minutes of the meeting to prove the amounts owed. 


The condominium’s Reserve Fund is crucial to cover the building’s conservation expenses. Its efficient management guarantees preventive savings and promotes financial transparency. Essential for collective well-being, the Common Reserve Fund stands out as a vital resource for preserving real estate assets.

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