View Full Version : Community charge accountability

06-16-2009, 04:35 PM
We have a small, old-style apartment in a block of eight which also contains a couple of retail units owned by one of the community. Our community charge - payable to an asesoria whose owner also owns one of the apartments but rents it out - tripled last year without explanation. I am not sure who the President is (possibly the owner of the asesoria!), but in any case we have not had an AGM within living memory, nor have any accounts been published. An excuse being offered for this is apparently the fact that a number of the flats is let out.

I am naturally anxious to know how much each flat is paying, and what the money is being spent on. We only have a staircase with communal lighting, a water pump and no lift. Unfortunately I cannot prise any information out of the asesoria; in the past I have simply called once a year to find out how much I owe, and then paid it into the community bank account.

Any advice re what Spanish law says on these matters would be extremely useful before I go on the attack!

Lawbird Lawyer
06-16-2009, 06:11 PM
Dear Sir/Madam,

The fact that the flats are rented is irrelevant. AGM's should still take place at least once a year, regardless of whether the flats are let or not. It's the owners, or appointed proxies, who assist to AGM's, not tenants.

This is a link to the Commonhold Act (http://www2.icamalaga.es/funcio/legales/coleg6/lphingles.htm) in English as amended by Law 8/99 & other laws courtesy of Castillo Traductores and Málaga’s Bar Association.

To hike community fees by 300% from one year to another needs express approval by the AGM (article 14 of the Commonhol Act aka Ley de Propiedad Horizontal or Horizontal Property Law).

Section 14

The functions of the general assembly (AGM) shall be—

a) to appoint persons for the aforementioned offices, to remove them from office, and to deal with any claims presented by unit owners against the performance of their duties;

b) to approve the budget of expenditure and income and the corresponding accounts;

c) to approve bids for and authorise all repair work to be performed on the property, whether ordinary or extraordinary, and receive prompt information of any urgent measures adopted by the administrator in accordance with the provisions of section 20.c);

d) to approve or amend the community statutes and establish the internal rules; and

e) to inquire into and resolve on any other matters of general interest for the community, adopting those measures deemed necessary or suitable for the best common service.

Section 20

The duties of the administrator shall be–

a) to ensure the proper management of the house, its installations and services, and to advise and admonish unit owners to that effect;

b) to prepare the budget of expenditures with sufficient anticipation and to submit it to the general assembly, proposing ways to cover the expenses;

c) to see to the upkeep and maintenance of the property, arranging for urgent repairs and measures, and to report promptly to the president or, where appropriate, to the unit owners;

d) to carry out the resolutions adopted regarding maintenance work and to make and receive payments as appropriate;

e) to act, where applicable, as secretary to the general assembly and to keep custody of community documents available for perusal by the unit owners; and

f) any other function conferred by the general assembly.

I recommend you read my article on Community of Owners in Spain:

Comunidad de Propietarios: Avoid Problems with Your Neighbours in Spain (http://www.marbella-lawyers.com/articles/showArticle/spanish-comunidad-de-propietarios) - 26th June 2009

Yours faithfully,
Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt

06-17-2009, 03:35 PM
Many thanks for your very full and helpful reply.

Lawbird Lawyer
06-17-2009, 03:49 PM
You're welcome Sir/Madam.