- ErardoErardo is an experienced English-speaking lawyer in Lanzarote. For over 10 years he has provided expert legal advice to English-speakers in matters relating to Property Law & Conveyances, Contract Law, Business Formation, Negligence and Family Law.
In this and the following two articles I will be detailing various aspects of the Community of Property Owners, a fundamental institution in Spain that exists to regulate the rights and obligations of the individual owners of properties in a building or within a number of buildings included in a single community or urbanisation. In particular, I will explain:
- The structure and officers of a Community of Owners
- The rules that regulate meetings and decisions taken by the Community
- Liability that may arise for Community payments and unpaid instalments
The Structure of Communities of Property Owners
In Spain all Communities of Property Owners are regulated by legislation, specifically Ley 24/1960: Horizontal Property Act, except in Cataluña where such communities are regulated by the Catalonian Civil Code. In addition each ‘Community’ can have it’s own statutes, though these must always respect the legislation.
A Community of Owners is formed by the entire group of owners of homes, commercial properties and any other unt found within a building or urbanisation and which are capable of being utilised independently with it’s own exit either to a common area within the building or urbanisation or to the public highway.
The structure of a Community of Owners may be described as follows: a) The President and the Vice-Presidents, b) The Secretary, c) The Administrator, and d) Meeting of the Community of Owners.
The President must be one of the property owners and is elected either by ballot or by a draw of lots. The person elected may be excused from the office only by providing appropriate reasons before a Court of 1st Instance. The President is the legal representative of the Community both in and out of Court. The office of Vice-President is optional and should the Meeting of the Community of Owners decide to name one, then the process is the same as for electing the President.
The roles of Secretary and Administrator may be exercised by the President, except if this is prohibited by the Statutes of the Community or if the same is agreed at the Meeting of the Community of Owners. The Secretary and Administrator may be the same person or different people, and need not be one of the property owners. Therefore, a professional such as a Registered Estates Administrator or other business dedicated to this type of activity may be named as being responsible for these roles.
All of the officers of the Community must be named within a period of one year, unless the Community statutes establish a different time period.
- Safeguard and ensure the proper functioning of the property and it’s installations.
- Prepare the Community running costs for submission to the Meeting of the Community of Owners.
- Attend to the maintenance of the building, undertaking any repairs that are urgently required.
- Overseeing any works that need to be carried-out, including payments to workers.
- Acting as Secretary to the Meeting of the Community of Owners if no-one else has been designated for this task.
Functions of the Meeting of the Community of Owners
- Appoint the officers of the Community of Owners
- Approve the accounts and the income and foreseeable costs
- Approve any proposed refurbishments to be carried out
- Approve and update the Community Statutes and any Rules of Living in the Community
- Decide any other matter of interest to the Community
In this way, while the Community of Owners operates day-to-day through it’s President and it’s Administrator, really it is the individual property owners, meeting together who make the decisions and who have the ability to make agreements on behalf of the entire Community. In the next article we will discuss the Community Meetings and how decisions are taken that impact all of the owners in the building or urbanisation.
Below is a list of recent reviews received from our clients, obtained via the Wufoo client survey platform:
- Pernilla, LondonFriday, April 13, 2018We had excellent service from Esther at Advocate Abroad when buying a property in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.
Esther speaks both Spanish and English, and is very friendly, professional and genuine. ...She took care of the whole purchasing process and explained all the steps for us, including giving advice on Spanish bank account, NIE numbers etc.
We are very pleased with all the help we have received and can highly recommend Esther. Thank you so much!
- David Pratt, Alhaurin del GrandeFriday, April 13, 2018Alvaro gives me confidence that he understands the issue and gives me practical solutions. He works rapidly and efficiently. I would strongly recommend his services.
- ESP, LondonWednesday, March 28, 2018Cristina was extremely helpful, she couldn't have done more. Her English is sufficient and I would definitely recommend her to friend.
- L Marshall, LondonWednesday, March 28, 2018Rosa was excellent. Very efficient and professional.
Responsive and always available. Extremely helpful - we did not understand the process and she guided us through.
We would not hesitate to ...recommend her.
- Phil Loughton, Las Lagunas de MijasTuesday, March 20, 2018Alvaro was extremely helpful and the simple process I needed managed was dealt with quickly and efficiently. I would certainly recommend him to friends.
- John Burchell, Arroyo De la MielTuesday, March 20, 2018Alvaro was very professional, helpful and friendly. Understood things quickly. Explained things well in English. Very easy to contact at any time.
- A. Kavanagh, GlasgowThursday, March 15, 2018Miguel provided a great service and fully explained to me about the procedures with tax & business registration. My emails and questions where always answered straight away with an immediate response ...or solution.
Very helpful and very friendly I would definitely recommend to anyone considering using Advocate Abroad
- Robert Davies, MallorcaMonday, March 12, 2018Very supportive and clear on producing a suitable divorce settlement. Efficient, understanding and professional.
- A.Kavanagh, GlasgowFriday, March 09, 2018Rosa was exceptional at helping me setting up my business abroad.
This was a big move for me and Rosa fully explained everything to me in detail so I had a full and clear understanding of the lega...l side of things as well as always promptly responding to any emails or questions I had.
I couldn’t of asked for a better lawyer and I would 100% recommend Rosa to anyone who is deciding to move abroad.
Great service could not be happier.
- Adam Clark, TenerifeFriday, March 09, 2018Oliver was very professional. He explained things very clearly and honestly at all times and in the end we got the best result possible in my particular case.
Many thanks to him for his high level ...of service.
- Patrick Martel, CanadaWednesday, March 07, 2018For being in another country and all our back and forth communicating over emails .. I thought Rosa did a brilliant job. Thankfully she was able to help where no one else was willing ..
- Robert Scott, UKWednesday, March 07, 2018First class service. Rosa's professionalism, advice and patience were all exemplary! Keep up the good work. Will certainly recommend the service to friends!
- Martina, PlymouthMonday, March 05, 2018Erardo was fantastic and helped immensely during a very difficult situation.
He consulted with my lawyer in the UK and explained to her what needed done. Without him the situation would not have be...en resolved. He was very understanding and I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending him. Outstanding.
- M Pearce, MarbellaMonday, March 05, 2018Miguel was extremely helpful, he couldn't have done more:
Always kept us updated on the progress of our purchase
Always responded to emails in a professional and timely manner
Always explained to... our understanding all aspects of the legalities about the purchase
Very approachable,courteous and professional
So much better to deal with than UK property lawyers!
- Tony, LondonWednesday, February 28, 2018The service I received from nada was very helpful.
The tasks were completed to the highest standard and would definitely use her services again in the future. All correspondence was received in a ...very timely manner. Highly recommended.
- Holly, LanzaroteFriday, February 23, 2018The divorce process could have been explained more clearly and accurately so that a more realistic time for completion can be attained.
- Julia Alcock, Puerto Rico, Gran CanariaThursday, February 22, 2018Esther was very friendly and approachable. She was professional and answered any questions I asked. We would definitely use her again in the future.
- Tamara Malcolm, MallorcaTuesday, February 20, 2018Rosa was and is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Her advice was excellent and i will definitely be using her expertise again in the future.
- Nick Nicolaou, OviedoTuesday, February 20, 2018Very Satisfied with Miguel's work. He was very helpful and we would definitely use his services again in the future.
- Gavin Jones, UKMonday, February 19, 2018It was a real pleasure to have Miguel working on my behalf to file my non-resident taxes. He was extremely helpful, gave reassuring advice and I had a high level of confidence in the transactions.
...Miguel is now acting as my fiscal representative in Spain and I plan to continue to use his firm's services for all my tax requirements.
- Martin Hickey, BenidormSunday, February 18, 2018Very friendly and knowledgeable and professional.
Juan explained the plus and the negatives on various subjects and allowed us to make up our own mind.
I have already recommended him to our fri...ends.
- Andrew Bullen, UKFriday, February 16, 2018Rosa was very professional at all times when dealing with me. Her English was second to none and she always kept me informed of progress via email promptly.
I wouldn't hesitate to use Rosa in the ...future for any legal issues I have.
- Tamara Reeves, AustraliaThursday, February 15, 2018Anna was very knowledgeable and had prior experience dealing with English clients. She spent a lot of time explaining information and I was never rushed.
I have continued to use Anna since my firs...t meeting as I trust her judgement and know that she will look after my best interests.
- Ali Hashemi, AlicanteWednesday, February 14, 2018Rafael was extremely helpful, accommodating and understanding. He couldn't have done more.
- Alan W T Duguid, Montserrat, ValenciaWednesday, February 14, 2018Ramon was very helpful and answered my questions and explained the legal process that I was enquiring about.
I would liked to have seen a follow up email detailing what was discussed to ensure that... my understanding and recollection of the meeting was completely correct.
- Keith Round, La Herradura, SpainMonday, February 12, 2018The advice provided was clear, easy to follow and allowed me to secure the required documentation from the Spanish Authorities quickly.
Rosa was very proactive in following up when I was delayed in... providing inputs and always delay with any questions promptly.
I would not hesitate to recommend Rosa to friends and colleagues and I would use her again in the future
- GWE, IrelandThursday, February 08, 2018My lawyer Nada was extremely effective to make the case and get a result!
- Chris Jones, CambrilsTuesday, February 06, 2018Regardless of the situation Emma, looked for the best possible way to assist under the circumstances. Emma was very approachable and professional.
- Richard Quick, EsteponaSunday, February 04, 2018I was particularly impressed by Miguel's approachability & professionalism, excellent service!
- Stephen Grundy, AlicanteThursday, February 01, 2018Jose-Antonio's services are exemplary. Very satisfied and would definitely use this lawyer again.