Complexes in Tenerife are mainly (though not solely) governed by the Ley de propiedad horizontal (Law of Horizontal Division), and there are links Spanish and English versions on the Resources page. Below are some of the questions I’m most often asked.

Some questions, such as those concerning the specific percentages required for various votes, need to be answered by qualified administrators. If you don’t already have one, you could consult someone like René Campen of Hestria (website HERE), a generous adviser to this site and a qualified administrator.

Just click on any question or the + at the side to expand it.










  1. Hi Janet,

    Our complex of 30 duplexes has one water meter for everyone and we share the cost equally.

    For the past three months we have suffered with pressure problems even to the point where we have no water whatsoever and often where there is insufficient pressure to shower. Our washing machine is regularly cutting out as it cannot get sufficient water. There is no time consistency, it’s almost random, but it’s becoming quite intolerable

    Our administrators say they are doing everything possible and raising it with the water supplier who are investigating but I suspect nothing is happening. They say there’s no point my complaining to the water company as their responsibility is only as far as the community. Others here are experiencing the same issues but not to the extent we are (I think we are the furthest from the source)

    Is there a water regulator I can complain to, or do you think they will they be dismissive because of the shared supply? Can I put pressure (sic) on our administrators in some way … I’ve even considered withholding fees but that feels a little extreme but I suspect they aren’t really representing my issues with any real conviction

    As ever thank you for your guidance, it’s very much appreciated

  2. Author

    Your options really are either to ask your administrator to show you what is actually being done, or to call an emergency meeting of the community to discuss the problem. You cannot withhold fees. This is not an “us and them” situation where you can “punish” the administrator or president or community by starving them of your contribution – these fees are payable by community members to their own community so you would only be starving your own self of funds! Moreover, they are a legally required payment and you automatically become a debtor if you withhold them, and lose any control over what happens in the community. I personally would call an EGM anyway to discuss the possibility of arranging the water supply differently for the community.

  3. Hi Janet
    My question is about by laws and regulations on a community
    We had a new administrator last year
    We had previously been told about the rules of the community by the old administrator
    The new administrator have said that there is no rules
    Where can I get information about this there is a confusing on what is rules and regulations by some owner
    Do you need to have the rules and regulations recorded and how far back can they be made
    Many thanks
    Dave Park

  4. Author

    If you had rules they will still apply. Ask the new administrator to put the matter on the agenda of the next AGM for discussion and clarification.

  5. hello our community administrator have told us we cannot see committee minutes , they are for members only ? ( this is not an agm , just meeting to discuss certain issues ? ) complex in Palm mar , Arona
    also been told palm tress cannot be pruned they will die , yet won’t give me names of trees to check and they did them last year – say not a problem if they block our view or effect our light ? in there opinion ? can you advise me in any way please , thanks

  6. Author

    The committee is not really relevant because it’s just a subset of owners with no legal status whatsoever. As such, they don’t even need minutes, so there’s no reason for anyone to see them. As to pruning palm trees, it’s a specialist job but they are frequently “pruned”, though it depends how one defines the word. This is something to go on the AGM agenda for the community to discuss.

  7. Dear Janet, I have been told that the pool area in my residential complex has to be changed to an infinity pool by law, thus costing the owners a large amount of money, can you confirm this change of law for me, or refute it.

  8. Author

    I know of no such law. As always when you’re given such “instructions” ask for the source or a reference. Ask the person who told you for the law they’re quoting.

  9. We were told the same a few yrs ago and we had to upgrade to infinity pool at a cost of €40k and recently reapaired again !

  10. Author

    Then someone somewhere needs to give a link of some kind to the legislation they’re claiming requires this. I’m unaware of any law in this respect, and indeed cannot see how it could function when most pools don’t have a line of sight to the sea or horizon.

  11. Janet, the “infinity” part is when the pool water level is at the very top of the pool vessel and constantly overflows thus no scum line on side of pool , more hygienic apparently.

  12. Author

    ah, not the infinity type where a hotel pool merges into the sea from the line of sight. Pool regs are governed by legislation at various levels, but the main starting point is a council. All I can do is suggest people enquire what the bylaws are at their local Ayuntamiento.

  13. What happens when the vote for a new president at an AGM is a tie. One owner has two properties so I assume she will get two votes. This then will result in a tied vote. Does this mean the status quo remains the same and the current president remains in situ.

  14. Author

    As I explain in the meetings section above, each vote is counted twice. So your fellow owner will have two votes for her two units in , but in the other way of counting she will just be one vote because it’s one per head. As I explain above, in the event of a dispute where both ways of counting fail to produce a clear result, it would have to be the Courts which decide.

  15. Hi Janet
    Please can you tell me what the law is in Tenerife regarding late night noise from bars near residential complexes
    Many thanks

  16. Author

    They are governed by local authority bylaws, which sets the conditions in their opening licence. The only way to be sure in any given case is to approach the Ayuntamiento.

  17. At last years AGM this years was scheduled for 4 March 2019 but we have just received notification the President cannot make this date and wishes to re schedule for 12th. Is this permitted ? Not only have some owners already booked flights which do not accommodate the new date but having set the date at last years AGM is that not legally binding. What if we all say we cannot make the new date. We are a small complex but nevertheless its very inconvenient.

  18. Author

    Yes, it’s permitted. I appreciate it won’t be applauded by foreign owners but Spanish law presumes owners of property in Spain to be in Spain and so able to make these meetings. I’m afraid that even though it’s inconvenient, owners still have the option of appointing a proxy voter to vote in their place if they can’t make the new date. Any date set in the AGM can be changed as long as people have a week’s notice.

  19. can you confirm the legal position on how voting in a president works. is it based on how many people vote in favour for a particular person or the hightest % area of the apartments/garages/traesteros.

  20. Author

    Please see the answer to the question “What can we do about multiple owners who can outvote us every time” in the Meetings section above where it is explained. (Quota itself is explained in the answer to the question “Who establishes how much the community fees are and on what grounds?” in the section on Finances).

  21. Hi Janet

    The Committee in my complex has refused me permission to erect a permanent sun shade (gazebo) on my top floor roof terrace, despite the fact that other residents already have them. They say that they want to preserve the look of the complex. My terrace is higher than all of the others and therefore not visible from anywhere on the complex. Can the permission from the Town Hall override the committee?

  22. Author

    The committee is powerless in this respect. If others have done them I see no way the community can stop you, but if anyone can it is the community as a whole, not the committee. I personally, given the nature of the work and the objection, would get an appointment with the administrator and talk it through, and then if necessary check things out with a lawyer and/or the council. My feeling is that although the committee is unable to stop you, it is worth checking out if any objections raised by the community could prevent you proceeding in the same way that others already have.

    A couple of points to bear in mind in case these were behind the objection. With a gazebo, any external colour or design schemes must be adhered to, and when fixing the gazebo to the floor, great care must be taken to ensure the damp proof membrane under the floor surface is not damaged.

  23. If i may – sound advice from Janet – unless as in our complex the administration does precisely as he is told by our ” president” and has said he will not even offer an opinion. Any ” statues” / rules i have seen on several complexes are alarmingly vague as to be useless. If a precedent has been set, and the structure does not obstruct views from neighbours the community must, in equity come up with legitimate reasons – an impression of the structure superimposed on an actual photo is easily done these days.

    Unsurprisingly, i suspect that most committees, and Presidents are not building experts but there are some very skilled installers who would produce a proper specification.


  24. Hi Janet
    We are a residential complex in Tenerife, unfortunately we have a couple of apartments that have been purchased with a view to rent via hosting websites Airbnb etc, we have now been informed that if the complex constitution does not prevent this , an individual can apply for a touristic licence for a apartment and rent is this correct
    Thank you

  25. Author

    Please see HERE in the first place where I’ve posted the latest in the holiday letting legislation situation. As I’ve now said to several enquirers, following a recent Supreme Court ruling the law will have to change from its current stance that private holiday letting of residential properties is only permitted in wholly residential areas to include those in touristic and mixed touristic-residential areas.

    For the moment the situation remains as it was but the Supreme Court ruling is clear and the law will have to be amended. It was already being redrafted, and the new ruling will need to be incorporated. Anyone considering taking action, therefore, against owners who are breaking the law will have to make that decision in the full knowledge that what might be illegal right now won’t be for too much longer.

    There will still be certain restrictions as there are right now (see HERE) but until we see the new law we won’t know what it looks like. There are also things communities can do under existing legislation to try to control a situation which might be upsetting to permanent residents (see HERE).

  26. Hi

    If anyone out there has experienced major water leakage in their community which necessitated the repair/replacement of the main underground pipework I’d be delighted to hear from them. Specifically I am trying to get a handle on the sorts of costs involved (recognising each case is different of course), types of remedial work and disruption caused, and any recommendations on engineer/contractor


  27. I am the president of one such community where we have had three fractured pipes in the last 18 months. Although the community is insured against breakages because the pipes were 3-4m underground gas detectors and cameras failed to find the leaks subsequently our insurance was nil and void. They will only pay out where they can see the damaged pipe.

    In these instances because the leakage to the pipe was in the community, the community coffers had to take the hit. We also had to reimburse the owners for the increase in the bills from Entemanser. It was easier and cheaper to run new pipes from the water meters to the individual properties. The cost of each repair was approximately €1000 which was very reasonable considering in one case (mine) they were out at 1am trying too detect the leak because the sound from the pools was distracting. Over and above the increase in water consumption the reimbursement was in the region of €300-500. We worked it out comparing typical bills for that household from the previous year. Not an exact science but best we could do.

    A neighbouring villa has just had a similar problem and the bill was around €4,000.

    Incidentally, I believe Entemanser have or are working on a wireless smart meter which will monitor the consumption and in the event of abnormally high usage will alert the owner and/or despatch one of their technicians. The cost I gather is in the region of €65 but I suspect this will be at least annually. I do not have all the information at present.

    I hope this is helpful

  28. Is there a legal limit to how many vice presidents can be elected to serve on a committee?

  29. Author

    As I say above, the VP has no actual function other than to deputize for the president in some legal matters where required so it’s not really a meaningful question. A community is not required to have one at all, so I see no actual technical reason why every owner other than the president shouldn’t be elected VP if the want the title.

  30. Thank you SEAL420 for your comments. Interesting about repaying owners, that hadn’t crossed my mind … but in our case we have just the one meter for all properties s perhaps not applicable

  31. Hi Janet
    Can an admin company send out a burofax relating to a vote that took place 2years ago about an infraction. The vote was that the cable should be painted the same colour and that no legal action would be taken.
    Many thanks

  32. Author

    The Burofax is a standard way to communicate about an official matter where proof might be needed in future legal action, so it sounds quite normal to me that they would use this method, particularly over something involving an infraction even two years after.

  33. Hi Janet can a person who’s not a regestered owner of a propertyon a complex be voted onto the committee of owners ?

  34. Author

    yes because the committee has absolutely no legal status whatsoever.

  35. Hi Janet , I’m a bit confused about voting rights as you describe above being “counted ” 2 ways .
    If a vote is taken at the meeting of attendees + proxies on an issue based on cuotas , where in the process does the “second way of counting ” come into it and how does it influence the result ?
    eg If the attendees + proxies have the majority but those attending have a majority as individual voters + proxies on 1 vote basis – who carries the day ?
    Thanks for your work !

  36. Author

    The votes are counted once per head (attendants at the meeting) and once per quota. So someone who owns five apartments has one count per capita but five counts per cuota. Both have to tally or there is disagreement and the vote is invalid until confirmed by another vote or by the Courts. The administrators count votes both way during the meeting because they have the quota percentages there … and a calculator!

  37. Thanks Janet but I’m still not getting it !
    Say there are 60 people and vote on a motion goes 31-29 in favour by a head count (i.e. 1 vote each) but when you count via the Cuotas the result is against the motion , which vote wins?
    I’m assuming proxies are included in head count ?

  38. Author

    Yes proxies are included because they are a vote representing the owner. The situation you describe is one where there is a difference in the counts, with one count leading to one result and the other to a different result, and in these situations, neither vote “wins”. The two ways of counting the votes must tally, and if they do not, the community has a problem it must either resolve itself, by discussions and if necessary further votes until it can get the measure rejected or approved definitively, or the situation needs outsiders (ie the Courts) to sort out … a bit like Brexit!

  39. Dear Janet,
    Our complex is about 45 years old has some commercial locals underneath the community gardens and walkways, which are part of the complex. During heavy rain, water finds its way naturally into these locals. Most are vacant spaces. However, one owner has converted this space into a bar some years ago and feels that we should protect them from the rainwater that we don’t own and have no realistic way of stopping making its way down in the local.
    Who is responsible, the Community or the owner of the local? I can see no way that we can stop rainwater seeping down through the ground and this is a structure that’s remained unchanged in 45 years. The change is in the climate.
    In the UK its quite normal for cellar conversions to be “tanked” inside and that is the only solution to keep water out of an underground property, I can see no other solution for the owners of underground locals.
    It would seem to me to be unreasonable for the community to foot a bill for an internal improvement of a premises we don’t own.
    What are your thoughts on this?

  40. Author

    My instinct is that the complex causes water to damage somebody’s freehold, and as such does have the responsibility to prevent any damage caused. As you say, tanking would probably solve the problem, and it is not very expensive, but that would be setting a precedent for anybody else who might want to develop a local underneath. With the complex being as old as it is, the legal situation would I think require a lawyer’s opinion, to find out what the relationship is between the complex and the locals (the locals are usually part of the complex in such situations), and thus determine the responsibilities.

  41. Hello,

    After how much time an AGM should be called, after the budgetyear has ended?

  42. Author

    The AGM is annual. It should be called the same time every year. There is no requirement for it to be a particular length of time into a year.

  43. Hi Janet, if my share is say €150 do I have to pay that every year until the amount required for the refurbishment is collected.
    Kind regards

  44. Author

    It depends on what was agreed at your AGM! You should be asking your administrator who will have all the details.

  45. Dear Janet, thanks for the great advice on this thread.

    Our community has a communal hot water system and the costs are distributed according to ownership coefficients and not consumption. Some feel this is unfair and want to install individual meters but I am unclear as to whether this requires a modification to the statutes, thus 100% vote, or simple majority. My feels in the former as it is a change to the way costs are distributed in the community for the last 40 years. Any advice appreciated.

  46. Author

    Thanks for the kind comments David, but what you’re asking is technical and specific, and needs a qualified administrator to answer. Apologies.

  47. I have a question for you.
    In the deeds is stated that the fee is based on coefficient.
    By unanimous voting 10 years ago it was agreed to change into a fixed fee per apartment.

    Now ONE owner wants to get back to the original system, so change back from fixed fee to fee based on coefficient.

    Is it true that only ONE owner can do this?


  48. Author

    Sorry but with technical quota and voting questions you will need to ask a qualified administrator.

  49. Hi Janet l have a water leak from my water meter . The pipe from my meter goes into the road outside my villa where it is leaking. The water board states they are not responsible as it is community. The administrator states that because the leak is passed my meter it is my responsibility is this correct?

  50. Author

    Actually these matters are impossible to diagnose at a distance. There are too many variables depending on community Statutes, location of meter(s), pipework through private/communal areas. The basic fact is that the water company’s liability ends at the water meter, and thereafter it is usually the owner’s responsibility. The community would be responsible if, say, the meter is housed in a communal area, but as I say without knowing much more, and in detail, it isn’t possible to identify specifically. If there’s a dispute between community and water company, and you yourself do not see yourself to be liable, then I would suggest getting a qualified plumber or even lawyer to look over the matter.

  51. Hi Janet , the president of our community has just informed us that the pool is to be regrouted and out of use for a week,she has given 8 days notice this wasn’t brought up at the last agm, and the work is not urgent. After telling her I think this is very short notice especially after the has known this was going to happen for a few months now She has told me the maintenance of the complex is down to her and the vice president and nothing to do with the community and we don’t need to be informed as such, please could you give me your views on this. Thank you

  52. Author

    Provided that the works were agreed at some point by the community, and they must have been in order for such works to be carried out at all, then the timing is not down to the community. Indeed the timing cannot be because it depends at least in part on extraneous factors like contractor availability over which a President has little to no control. You don’t confirm in your question whether the community has in fact approved these works at some point, and if it did not, then that is a different matter, of course.

  53. Hi Janet, thanks for your reply, no the works were not approved at all, in fact we only found out about them a week ago and work has already started,, thank you

  54. Author

    Then they cannot proceed. Works such as this must be approved by the community at an AGM or EGM. The president has no authority to order non-emergency works like these autocratically. Send a Burofax to the president and administrators asking for their legal justification for doing this without reference to the community. It’s possible there is some understanding that they can explain to you, but if not, the Burofax will be your first point of order in taking whatever legal action might be required.

  55. Janet. Always interesting – hope we,ll hear how Tracy gets on. Seems some Presidents rule autocratically. Also know of administrators who simply will not voice their own opinions – merely rubber stamp whatever ” committees prescribe.

  56. Author

    Thanks, and I too hope Tracy will report back.

  57. Hi Janet,

    Can you define ‘non emergency works’ I imagine pretty well most repair and maintenance work is ‘non emergency’ so how does a President go about keeping a community properly maintained and in good order? Is there an indicative cost limit or something similar?

  58. Author

    There’s a certain amount of leeway here. Obviously “emergency” is self-explanatory – a burst pipe or electrical outage, that sort of thing – but non-essential or needful minor works can’t wait for a general meeting to be called, and self-evidently shouldn’t involve the whole community by necessity in deciding to replace a missing screw or equivalent. Indeed, a president who didn’t carry out urgent and even routine minor repairs would be deemed negligent. Bear in mind, though, that “maintenance” generally is something determined each year in the budget, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

    Where you look for a cost limit, however, there isn’t a clearly defined one, no, but I think we all have an idea of what might be “reasonable”. And of course, any president considered to be acting “unreasonably” in this respect still has to stand for re-election at the next AGM … that is where the community has its control.

  59. Thanks for the reply. I was bothered by the earlier remarks. Grouting of a pool is a fairly routine bit of maintenance, (not often perhaps) and should be within any reasonable budget. This time of year is about as quiet as it gets, so the timing is good.

    I would very much hope that to undertake such work wouldn’t require the approval of residents at an AGM/EGM but it is entirely reasonable to expect notice to be given.

  60. Author

    And that is why asking the administrator for the justification is important. It is quite possible that a schedule or community regulations for determining when and how often the pool should be grouted was part of the initial project, or is actually in the Statutes … the administrator will know, while a new owner might not be aware of the history. Always good to start with a simple question to the administrator and take it from there. Generally, though, grouting a pool is not in my experience classed as routine maintenance for a community, at least in terms of budget, even though it is regularly required maintenance from the perspective of the pool itself.

  61. I suppose it also depends on why the pool is to be regrouted. Our pool is a certain age and the pool tiles come adrift after a certain time. This creates areas in the pool where people might stub their toes or even cut themselves. It also enables algae to form on the unprotected areas. We have to carry out regrouting/refurbishment work every couple of years. If we did not do that we would face health and safety issues. We carry funding in the budget for such general maintenance and it is left to the President and our maintenance manager to schedule the work as and when it is required. It is normally undertaken in quiet periods.

  62. Dear Janet,
    My question is;- does a person need an NIE number to hold the position of President of a community?

  63. Author

    Well, a President must be an owner, and you need a NIE to buy a property, so yes, but it’s to do with ownership not community officialdom.

  64. Regrouting, or resealing, being classed as an emergency. It can also be described as an emergency depending on the location/construction of the pool and what is being affected by the leak. For example, privately owned property or locales, communal machinery rooms, storage areas walkways etc.
    and as Snowbird says Late May early June are the quietest times of the year to carry out these works with the least disruption to owners. It is inevitable though that some owners will be affected. Unfortunately that is part and parcel of living within a community.

  65. Could you please clarify Community law article 14.
    At our AGM it was passed to heat the existing swimming pool. A group of us feel that is a luxury and do not want to pay towards it. we thought that legally we did not have to pay. However our Administrator says we have to pay as the contribution will not exceed 3 months community fees.Can you advise please

  66. Author

    That is correct as I explain in the answer to the question “Can someone be forced to pay a derrama for community amenities?” in the section on Finances above.

  67. Can owners be told to remove extensions that have been erected 27 years, by the timeshare half of the community?

  68. Author

    If the construction was legal then no, but if there is such a dispute you should be seeking advice from a qualified lawyer.

  69. Hi Janet at a recent egm a number off proxy votes were presented at the meeting by the hotel chain and votes taken on work required on the complex. it was discovered later that some off the proxies had names off people who no longer owned the apartments please can I have your view on this was the vote legal thanks

  70. Author

    Clearly people who no longer own should not have a vote, that is self-evident because it is a community of owners! What happens now that it’s done, though, is another matter and one that needs a qualified lawyer to advise on. First step, I would have thought, is to ask the administrator for an explanation, and then that take to the lawyer.

  71. Janet I would also like your view on this statement thanks David I have also been informed by our president that they the hotel chain do not need to get the proxi vote forms completed each year as I have to because they manage the apartments for the owners! does anyone know if legally this is correct procedure?

  72. Author

    I don’t actually see a specific problem with it, legally, as long as the proxy was given in the correct form and manner as determined by the community and admin for proxy votes, and then that the proxy vote itself provides for it to be ongoing until revoked, for example. But if the hotel chain are specifically referencing their management as the reason, and assuming they’re the sole agent, then it seems to me quite likely that their contract with letting owners itself gives an ongoing proxy. Without the detail it’s very difficult to comment further, David, I’m afraid.

  73. At our AGM two people got equal votes to become president, meeting was called to a halt and we were told there would be another EGM. no date was given. Who calls this EGM?

  74. Author

    I would expect the current president and/or administrator to do so.

  75. Hi I own a property in Spain on a community complex
    The committee are getting quotes to have the properties painted, I do not want anybody coming on to my property ( which is in good condition ) and well maintained, do they have a right to come on to my property with out my consent to paint my property,

  76. Author

    Your “consent” will have been given either at notary when you signed the escritura which will have contained your agreement to maintain your property in the systems and schemes run by your community, or at general meeting when a resolution will have been passed to carry out the painting, set the budget for it, and choose the contractor. Or both. So yes, they have the right because “they” are actually “you” since regular communal maintenance works are required by law and carried out by the community of owners, of which you are one.

  77. Message to Keith
    If you don’t want to abide by community rules then you are best to by a detached freehold property and then you will have nothing to worry about.Its very simple ?

  78. It’s my understanding that on a community complex then you are responsible for all interior maintenance and upkeep and that all external walls and areas are the responsibilty of the community of which each owner is a member. It’s odd and perverse thinking to deny the community access to areas for which they are responsible to maintain on your behalf.

  79. Surely this is a matter that can be resolved between the owner, the President and the painters. It may well be that the painters have to access the terrace, or the common areas above and below the terrace, for example, through the property and walk through an apartment. In this case it would be prudent for the owner actually to be resident at the time.
    If the owner has for example kept his terrace area properly painted it is a waste of community money to repaint it. There must be an ability to compromise based on the facts of the particular situation.

  80. I agree in principal snowbird but it you buy on a
    community and live on a community then you should abide by the rules.We have to many new and old owners who think they own the community and try to be as awkward as possible and cause many problems for the majority who wish to keep these complexes well maintained. Unfortunately the older the owners get the more stubborn they seem to become as they use the old “we have lived her for over 20 years “and do not want any change !

    It’s very sad for the rest of us who are more lenient.

  81. I didn’t say that you mustn’t abide by the rules though. We don’t know enough detail of the present problem. If the community want to paint the internal area of everyone’s terrace but the owner has just done that then it is silly to try and force the issue to get it repainted. If the Community needs to access his terrace to paint some common parts then access should be given, but it is reasonable to discuss and agree when. I also live on a complex where some people pay scant regard to the rules.


  83. Author

    Yes of course you have rights. A community runs like a democracy, so the situation you describe will have been decided by the community itself. The fact that some don’t pay their dues is not relevant, I’m afraid. That is a matter for legal action by the community against the owners, but if the community decides on a payment scheme, owners must pay as agreed or face that legal action along with the genuine debtors.

  84. At our next AGM we are to discuss an extra one off payment in order to carry out necessary repairs and painting of the complex which hasn’t been done for 15 years since it was built

    I am the president of the community and this is something some of owners have asked to be discussed. One owner had stated owners cannot be legally obliged to pay this even with a majority vote
    What is the legal position on this and surely the owners of the complex have the responsibility to ensure repairs and maintenance of the complex are carried out

  85. Author

    Please see the two questions on derramas in the Finances section above. I would advise you also to check your Statutes, if your community has them, or speak to the administrator in any event, because 15 years without external maintenance/decoration exceeds by some distance the usual limits (I’m not sure from memory what they are but I think every 5 or 10 years).

  86. Hello Janet,
    Our AGM is held every 2 years in accordance with the community statutes. Horizontal Law states that AGM meeting for elections of a President etc is to be held each year. My question is do the community statutes override Horizontal Law on that particular point.

  87. Author

    I’ve answered this to you before Peter. The law requires annual elections. If a community decides it’s happy to do it differently then it clearly can do so, and any owner who decides they don’t like it can get the issue on the next AGM agenda to try to get the community to change it … and ultimately, that owner could take legal action about it.

  88. Hi Janet,
    I am the owner of an individual villa. When I received my bill for water for Jan /Feb 2019 the reading was 4 times the normal amount Entemanser obviously say that it my problem.I had no leaks or no abnormal use and I can not explain the increase in the amount recorded in my meter. Has anyone else ever experienced this or do I just have to suck it up. thanks and regards.

  89. Author

    I’m sure others will have experienced it, and I hope some might post their comments. No you don’t have to suck it up but with an outright dismissal by the water company I would start, at least, with the local council’s consumer office.

  90. I am the owner of an apartment in a residential complex (parque la reina) on the ground floor. My garden forms part of the roof to the garage. Recently,after heavy rain, water penetrated the waterproofing under my garden and entered the garage. My insurance company say that the policy does not cover the defects to the waterproofing, only the damage resulting.(there was none) I dont accept their stance. Am I correct.

  91. Author

    I don’t know, Brian, I’m afraid. I would get a lawyer to look at the policy for you, and advise you about possible action according to whether he finds it does or does not cover waterproofing defects.

  92. I spent many years working inter alia on claims in the construction industry. In my experience insurances do not cover defects in or gradual deterioration of an item, only the resultant damage caused by a failure in that item.

  93. My neighbour with an adjoining terrace came round to my apartment this week and said that he is going to build a room on his terrace and the back of the room will be built on our adjoining wall. The wall has a privacy high section leading on to a lower part enabling us to have a lovely view. This will completely block my sea view. My neighbour says I am not entitled to that view and he has permission and building work will begin on 16 September. I have contacted the President and the Community Assoication and they say they know nothing about this building/wall. If he has council permission or a licence should the council have contacted me to get a party wall agreement or the Spanish equivalent. We have written to the neighbour politely asking if there is any way he can do this differently so we don’t lose our view but he has not replied. Can he commence building without my permission.

  94. Author

    It is not your permission he needs, but that of the Community, along with a licence for the works from the Council. I’m afraid that if he has both of those then you won’t have the right to stop him, but if he starts work without one or the other, then you should call the police when you see the works taking place. I would call the relevant Policía Local because they will be ideally placed to check with the council for permissions, and the Community of course.

  95. Thank Janet, very helpful. If he doesn’t have the community’s permission, just Council permission, can he go ahead. Also, we are owners and would not therefore part of the community for not give our permission, can this go be stopped.

  96. Author

    As I said, he needs permission from the Community, along with a licence for the works from the Council. The Community’s permission will be based on previous agreements made by the owners, so one owner can’t overrule that if the vote was legal and approved.

  97. Hi Janet. I read your website last night with great interest, and in particular your FAQ on complexes. I live in a complex of bungalows on Lanzarote, and have been looking for this type of information on-line for some weeks. There seems to be nothing like this for Lanzarote, so I thought I would ask you, if you don’t mind, does the same information you cover in your FAQ section, and the rules and laws you refer to, apply across the Canarias? Also, do you know of a similar website to yours covering Lanzarote? I thought maybe you would have come across well- informed people like yourself on other islands too. I would welcome any information you have relating to this. Many thanks – your website is magnificent. Gill

  98. Thank you very much Janet. I will start with that. We have a lot of problems with the complex and the administrators, so the information you have provided is much welcomed.

  99. Hi Janet
    I live on a complex and we have floor tiles that are dangerous and can cause injuries to residents on the site I have email the administrator several time from the beginning of March for them to repair but they do nothing,
    My question is if someone is unfortunate to be injured by one of these tiles who is to blame the administration or the complex if we are taken to court
    Yours aye
    D bevan

  100. Author

    A claim would be made on the community’s insurance. It is possible that the administrators could be ruled liable but that would require the community to take its own administrators to Court for payment to be made by their professional indemnity. If you’re an owner, my advice would be not to email them again about the tiles specifically but send them an email (or ideally a burofax) requesting the matter be put on the agenda for the next AGM. If you’re a tenant, then suggest this to the owner.

  101. Hi Janet , At a AGM if the administrator is not ratified or voted on what is the situation please , At our recent meeting it was listed for ratification but totally missed
    Many Thanks

  102. Author

    Administrators must be re-elected every AGM, or a new administrator appointed. A community can’t not have an administrator, and the vote on their (re-)appointment early in every AGM is a legal requirement.

  103. Hi Janet
    I live on a complex in Lanzarote and have a cat, can you confirm if she has to stay inside my apartment and is not allowed outside on the complex. We also have a couple of ferel cats constantly on the complex so what is the difference? If my cat has to stay in what do we do to keep other cats off the complex?

  104. Author

    The same rules apply to your cat as apply to dogs. It may not be loose in communal areas. As to what your community does about strays, that should be put on the agenda of the next general meeting for discussion.

  105. Hi Janet can you please advise me if you still need 100% votes for Community Statute changes.? Than you

  106. Author

    I’m sorry I can’t confirm. You will need to check with an administrator what the current legal position is.

  107. I understand a licence is required from the police in order to carry out works on your property.Is the onus on the owner of the property or the contractor to obtain this licence? Thanks

  108. Author

    No, a licence is required from the Ayuntamiento, not the police. The owner is always responsible.

  109. Hi Janet. Our president has called an EGM for 14/11. The agenda was not discussed with the community prior to announcement of the EGM. A large group of owners are not happy with the items, and have requested additional items be added to the EGM agenda. Both the president and administrator are refusing this, and saying they will need to be dealt with at the following AGM in June 2020. Do they have a right to exclude requested agenda items?

  110. Author

    Yes, for an EGM, and there is no requirement to release agenda details in advance of a meeting call. If owners wishing to add items consider them “emergencies” for discussion, they can of course organize their own EGM but once one is called it is for the purposes described in the agenda, even if only one item.

  111. Hi Janet

    We have recently paid a derrama over the last 4 months on top of our community feesa for work to strengthen pillars in the underground garage on the complex, we paid 95€ totalling 380€ our community fees are 74€ per month, this was decided at an EGM we were unable to attend. Now the president has decided more of the pillars need to be brought up to standard and he wants to issue another derrama at the next EGM which I am not happy about, can I refuse to pay if it is more than 3 months community fees?

  112. Author

    No you cannot refuse, as I explain in the second question in the section above on Finances – “Can someone be forced to pay a derrama for community amenities?” I’m afraid that the fact the decision was made at an EGM you were unable to attend is not relevant because you can always engage another owner as a proxy vote.

  113. Hello Janet,
    Many thanks for the precious information you share.
    I have a question about obtaining the constitution of community of owners. I have an elderly friend who is quite distressed by the pretty underhand actions of her community president (who is also acting as administrator.) She needs to see the constitution documents before her upcoming AGM, but it would appear that they are being withheld by the president. Is there anywhere else she could find a copy of the documents? Might the ayuntamiento archives be able to provide her with what she needs?
    Thanks in advance,

  114. Author

    I would doubt the council would have a copy. My suggestion would be to write a Burofax or get a lawyer to write a letter to the President requesting a copy and take it from there depending on the response.

  115. What does “Salvo Voto” mean please? EGM recently led to several Spanish quoting “Salvo Voto NO” when vote was taken. Can you please explain?

  116. Author

    I would have thought, with respect, that this was a question to ask your administrator, ideally at the meeting. None the less, it is equivalent to voting against a motion but not legally the same. A literal translation is “saving the vote”, and legally it has the sense that an owner can challenge the approved motion as if they had voted against it. What this means in your particular circumstances is impossible to say without knowing the context. This is why you simply have to ask your administrator.

  117. Hi Janet
    I wonder if you could advise me please,I have been looking through the minutes of previous meetings and it seem that the administration of this site have not carry out the work which has been voted for this has been going back as far as 2012 up until this year ,which is the best action to follow
    Sorry Janet one more question please can I ask the administrator for me to see previous minutes going back again to 2012 and can he refuse my request at the moment I am Vice President of the site
    Yours aye
    D b

  118. Author

    If you think something was voted for and has not been actioned, I would recommend you ensure it is entered as an item on the agenda for the next General Meeting so that the community can discuss it. As to minutes of meetings, you are entitled to see them, of course, but it might not be the easiest thing for an administrator to come up seven year’s worth … it’s possible, for examaple, that the administrator has been changed in that time. But minutes should be sent out after each meeting, so you should have received them. Again, check with the administrator when you request the first item to go on the agenda, and if you’re not satisfied, ask for this too to be put on the agenda so the community can discuss and hopefully resolve it.

  119. Good afternoon.

    Our president has stated that she is resigning and has called an EGM to elect a new president. Item 2 on the agenda says, “Presentation of the resignation of the president. Election of new president of the community of owners “.

    I have carefully read the Horizontal Law and I cannot see any provision for this to take place, except that the community may ‘remove’ the president at an EGM. Is what the president doing illegal?

    Furthermore are we entitled to elect a president at an EGM in these circumstances or must we wait until an AGM?

    Thank you,


  120. Author

    You don’t say what Item 1 on the agenda is …

    The law, as I understand it, reserves for the owners exclusively, the right to replace a president within a single term of office. None the less, while there could be a legal objection if the president is calling a meeting herself, it seems to me that if she wants to resign and calls a general meeting to do so and elect a replacement, then there is little to be gained by forcing her to wait for the AGM. Your administrator will no doubt be able to offer their own interpretation but it seems to me that this is a sensible way for a community to proceed given the situation you describe. But of course there is Item 1 on the agenda … and you don’t say what that is …

  121. We have a new commercial owner causing issues on the complex and is demanding to have copies the last 5 year’ accounts , contracts etc ! This sound s vexatious rather than looking for something in particular and would obviously tie up our administration in a lot of work , Our accounts are “audited” every year by appointed owners at AGM . Surely we can reject his demand for copies but allow him to inspect the documents – can he as an individual bring in his own accountant without permission ?

  122. Author

    This is for your administrator to answer, I think, but I personally see no way of stopping an owner bringing in an independent professional … sometimes I advise owners actually to do this, if they think there’s malpractice, for example.

  123. Good morning. I did not mention item 1 because it is the usual one about owner’s debts, “Approval of the owners’ debts as at 30/09/2019 and authorisation to the president to grant power of attorney to the lawyer to urge the recovery of the debt judicially via the legal procedures established in the Horizontal Property Act, including admonitory procedure”.

    Our administrator company is telling us that a new president can only be elected at an AGM and not an EGM and that the vice-president would stand in as president until the next AGM next September. However I am led to believe that it is illegal not to have a president so have thought that the new president must be elected at the EGM. What are your thoughts on this?


  124. Author

    Item 1 being debts is not a “usual” one for an EGM, but for an AGM. An EGM can, and often does, only have the one item for discussion on the agenda. As to the general situation, as I said, my thoughts are that it is sensible for the community to allow this because although the president can’t technically “resign”, s/he can approach the Courts to allow it and that is an expense the community surely wouldn’t wish to incur. I see no reason to prevent the appointment of someone else to take over as president but if your administrator is resisting this, then you can manage with only the VP … the whole point of a VP is to stand in for the president as legal figurehead when such is needed.

  125. Thanks Janet , we have a statute that requires 10% of owners to agree before an external audit is allowed , it would cost the community around €3K as we did one a few years ago !
    This particular chap is in dispute with us & is just trying to cause us bother as he has no basis for his request , he is being refused & can go to court for permission to do his fishing !

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