Property management fees in Spain: Liability for Non-payment

Each property owner, by virtue of being an owner, and from the moment that, upon acquiring a home or commercial property in the relevant building or urbanisation the owner becomes part of the horizontal property regulations, the obligation to pay the common costs arises, “…it not being the case that failure to make use of any service provides exemption from the corresponding obligation,” (Article 9.2 Ley Propiedad Horizontal)

Therefore, the fact that a particular common service is not used, does not remove the obligation to pay for the supply of the service, for example, the use of a lift. Accordingly, any individual decision, for example non-use of a property does not relieve the property owner of the obligation to pay their proportion of the property management fee in full. Likewise where the service functions poorly, the obligation continues to exist, the correct response being to demand that the service functions as it should.

Subjective Liability

Where a property is being sold to a new owner, the debtor responsible for making the payment of any outstanding property management fees is the owner at such time as the obligation to pay the bill arises. As a result, while the the Community of Owners may take action against the current owner of the property, the liability, subjective and moveable, remains with the original owner-debtor.

In addition, from the provisions contained in Articles 9.1 e) and 21 of the LPH (Horizontal Property Law) it can be stated that the liability of each owner to contribute to the joint costs of the community of owners does not cease, once they have arisen, for the simple fact of transmitting the property to a third party.

Limited Liability

The current owner, who was not around at the time that the original obligation to pay the community fees arose, shall have their liability for prior debts accrued limited in terms of the amount that they must pay, equivalent to the the costs related to the previous three years (until the reforms in this area of the law brought about by Law 08/2013, the limit had been one year) as well as any debt accrued in the current year to date; qualitatively, the new owner’s liability is limited to the property located in the urbanisation in which the debt was accrued, and cannot attach to any other properties that they own. It is clear that this double restriction on the extent of the debt transmitted may be justified on the basis that, despite the transfer of the title to the property, there is a continuing liability on the part of the previous owner.

As a result of the above, in the case of debts owed by the owner of a property to the Community of Owners,  the property in the particular urbanisation may potentially be seized to repay the debts.

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Testimonials for our General Property Law service
  • Coenraets
    Coenraets, Playa Inglés

    I was looking for advice about the legal method of splitting the common costs among the owners of a compound. Her advice was very helpful during the owners meeting that I had this afternoon.

    Mar 21, 2019
  • David W Baker
    David W Baker, Malaga

    We were extremely satisfied with Alvaro: He explained the law to us and gave us a solution to our problem.

    He could not have been more helpful and we will definitely use him again.

    Nov 06, 2018
  • Michael Harrison
    Michael Harrison, Urb. Camposol Mazarron Murcia

    Maria was extremely helpful and professional, and put herself out to satisfy my needs.

    I contacted her on a number of occasions and always had very good advise on costs etc.

    Her English was impeccable and could always be understood.

    Jul 27, 2018
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    Janet/Alex Olsen, Newcastle

    Overall the service provided by Oliver was exceptional.

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    Jul 25, 2018
  • Søren Aabel Hammer
    Søren Aabel Hammer, Malaga

    Beatriz was professional and quick to respond. Would definitely recommend to friends.

    Jul 05, 2018
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    Peter & Anita Bradshaw, Leeds, England

    We could not be more happy with the service we received from Jaime.

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    Before contacting Jaime, our previous experiences of Spanish Lawyers had been appalling - in fact we needed Jaime's help to resolve issues which previous Lawyers had created. Our only regret is not finding Jaime sooner!

    Thanks so much for all your help Jaime.

    Jun 18, 2018
  • MF
    MF, Lanzarote

    My lawyer Cristina was extremely understanding , friendly and reassuring. With Cristina on my side, it gave me confidence to continue.

    May 21, 2018
  • Duncan Martin
    Duncan Martin, Wolverhampton, England

    Lidia, was extremely helpful and patient throughout the process.

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    Lidia was the best legal representative i have employed and i will always use her where Spanish legal affairs are concerned.

    Apr 20, 2018
  • Robert Scott
    Robert Scott, UK

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    Mar 07, 2018
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    Andrew Bullen, UK

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    Feb 16, 2018
  • Peter Brumder
    Peter Brumder, England

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    Alvaro has taken away the headaches associated with a property abroad and has helped me with all my problems including payment of bills, decorating and taxes.

    I couldn't have coped without him

    Oct 04, 2017
  • Paul W
    Paul W, Shoreham

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    I definitely would use the same lawyer again in the future.

    Jul 15, 2017
  • Martin Petersen
    Martin Petersen, Fuengirola

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    Mar 30, 2017
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    Mike Hartley, United Kingdom

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    Mar 27, 2017
  • W Wakefield
    W Wakefield, England

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    Feb 08, 2017
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    Leigh Weatherell, Kenya

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    Dec 13, 2016
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    Robert Ludlam, UK

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    Nov 24, 2016
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    Caryn Edwards, Wales

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    Oct 17, 2016
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    S & J Barron, England

    Jose Antonio was very understanding and patient.

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    Oct 05, 2016
  • Delia Letham
    Delia Letham, Scotland

    Beatriz was very quick to respond, extremely helpful with excellent English. Very friendly and efficient.

    I am very satisfied and definitely would use the same lawyer again in the future.

    Jun 04, 2016
  • Michael Rieger-Goroncy
    Michael Rieger-Goroncy, Munich

    Our lawyer (Francisco) was very responsive. In a complex matter it needed some additional explanation via email until he fully understood what we were talking about, but then he understood the case and gave us very good and helpful advice.

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    Aug 10, 2015
  • John
    John, Barcelona

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    Mar 15, 2015
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    Adrienne Kardos-Farkas, Budapest

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    He was very intelligent and provided a professional service. I would definitely use his services again.

    Jan 27, 2015
  • Ron Conder
    Ron Conder, England

    I am so glad of Pedro’s assistance with my legal matter – also of David’s. They could not have been more able. So very helpful.

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    Nov 10, 2014
  • Wayne De Winnaar
    Wayne De Winnaar, UK

    Our lawyer Beatriz fully understood our situation and dealt with it in a calm and effective manner displaying a high level of professionalism and understanding.

    We found her to be exceptionally honest and informative whilst also offering us a good value for money service. There is no doubt that we would use this lawyer again.

    Aug 09, 2014
  • S J Davies
    S J Davies, Alicante

    Jose-Antonio was extremely helpful, couldn't have done more. I would definitely use his services again.

    Jul 28, 2014
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