Unlike in many northern European countries, the typical home in Spain is an apartment in a shared building. Thus arises the need for laws to regulate how those parts of the building which are owned in common with other apartment owners are maintained. Any area of the building or urbanisation that is not reserved for the exclusive use of any of the individual owners is by definition a common area, available for use by all. Common areas are normally one of four possible types:
- Physical structures (foundations, pillars, floors, façades) Installations,
- Conduits (Electrical installations, Guttering)
- Community Areas (Swimming-pools, playgrounds, gym areas)
- Service Areas
Each property owner has the right to use and enjoy common areas of the building or urbanisation in common with the other property owners. However, they may not alter any common area and if there is an urgent need to repair a common area this should never be undertaken privately but communicated to the administrator of the community.
Property owners must consent to access to their private property where necessitated to carry out work necessary to maintain common areas.
Should the community vote to install common telecommunication equipment they may not insist that those owners who votes against should pay a proportional part of the cost. However, should those who voted against the installation decide at a later date that they wish to benefit from it then they may do so by paying the requisite amount with legal interest added.
Useful Tip: Always make sure to get information on a Spanish lawyer’s professional background as well as the legal fees they will charge before you commit to using their services. If you do need a Spanish lawyer consider this free service from Advocate Abroad – Lawyer Finder Spain