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.

Related Services

53 Lawyers Offering General Property Law Services in Spain

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
  • Janet/Alex Olsen
    Janet/Alex Olsen, Newcastle

    Overall the service provided by Oliver was exceptional.


    My mother and I couldn't of asked for more from him as he sorted out our family affairs. His attitude, attention to detail and promptness while helping us were second to none.


    His English is top notch and his way of explaining and or guiding you through what needs to be done makes the whole experience easier than expected.


    We'd recommend Oliver to anyone in need of his expertise while dealing with issues in Tenerife.


    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
  • Peter & Anita Bradshaw
    Peter & Anita Bradshaw, Leeds, England

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


    He responded immediately to our enquiry and it was clear from the outset that he fully understood our position. It was vital that Jaime acted quickly in this matter and he did so in a highly professional and competent manner, providing us with clear and concise updates throughout.


    We found Jaime to be very polite and approachable and we believe his fees to be very reasonable. We would genuinely not hesitate to recommend his services.


    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.


    She was very attentive and responsive and explained everything in detail.


    Lidia represents excellent value for money and the solutions she recommended were very beneficial, especially as you hear and read about a lot of horror stories on the web.


    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

    First class service. Rosa's professionalism, advice and patience were all exemplary!


    Keep up the good work. Will certainly recommend the service to friends!


    Mar 07, 2018
  • Andrew Bullen
    Andrew Bullen, UK

    Rosa 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.


    Feb 16, 2018
  • Peter Brumder
    Peter Brumder, England

    Alvaro has always been very approachable and friendly and I value his judgement and advice.


    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

    Beatriz was very helpful, always happy to assist.


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


    Jul 15, 2017
  • Martin Petersen
    Martin Petersen, Fuengirola

    Francisco was extremely helpful.


    Very good value for money, and good at taking his time to understand my situation, and understanding my needs.


    Mar 30, 2017
  • Mike Hartley
    Mike Hartley, United Kingdom

    Jose was extremely helpful, he couldn't have done more.


    I´m very Satisfied and I definitely use the same lawyer again in the future if I need it.


    Mar 27, 2017
  • W Wakefield
    W Wakefield, England

    The service was excellent. Carmen, the lawyer, was very approachable, helpful and explained the issues very clearly.


    First class.


    Feb 08, 2017
  • Leigh Weatherell
    Leigh Weatherell, Kenya

    Jose's professionalism, protectiveness and attention to detail is second to none.


    Dec 13, 2016
  • Robert Ludlam
    Robert Ludlam, UK

    Jose was very helpful and responded to my question by return.


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


    Nov 24, 2016
  • Caryn Edwards
    Caryn Edwards, Wales

    Rosa is a nice efficient professional.


    She was extremely helpful, I would definitely use the same lawyer again in the future.


    Oct 17, 2016
  • S & J Barron
    S & J Barron, England

    Jose Antonio was very understanding and patient.


    I am very Satisfied, he couldn't have done more.


    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.


    In the end he recommended not to proceed with the case which we followed. It was absolutely good value for the money we paid.


    Aug 10, 2015
  • John
    John, Barcelona

    We were put through to a lawyer called Emma and her English was excellent and I found her to be very very friendly and helpful.


    She charged me a very reasonable amount for her time and effort and I would strongly recommend her to anyone looking for a English speaking Spanish Lawyer.


    Mar 15, 2015
  • Adrienne Kardos-Farkas
    Adrienne Kardos-Farkas, Budapest

    I was very satisfied with the service provided by my lawyer. He spoke English more or less fluently and was always happy to assist wherever possible.


    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.


    I would certainly use there service again. Many thanks.


    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
Send Your Enquiry
Are there public holidays?

Enquiry sent. Thank you!

Please fix errors