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.

Animals

Officials

Debtors

Alterations

Children

Meetings

Finances

Community

54 Comments

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

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

  10. Author

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

  11. 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

  12. Author

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

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

  17. 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,
    Mandy

  18. 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.

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

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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,

    Richard

  24. 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 …

  25. 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 ?

  26. 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.

  27. 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?

    Thanks.

  28. 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.

  29. 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 !

  30. Hi Janet, we have a property on a complex of 200+ apartments in Arona Tenerife. They are building toilets adjoining our apartment for people using the pool. There are already toilets available but they are downstairs. Whilst we have no objections to disabled toilets, do you know if there are any laws regarding number of toilets and distance away from the pool area for able bodies persons to access?

  31. Author

    Your administrator will need to answer this based on the specific details, but when you say “they” are building toilets” … this is the community, I would assume, so all the details including legalities of location and number should already have been discussed in general meeting. Again, your administrator will be the one to clarify this.

  32. Thanks for your reply. I have requested a copy of the minutes where this is detailed and none is forthcoming. I am just met with the reply it is the law to have toilets a certain distance from the pool?

  33. Author

    I would assume your administrator knows the law so would believe them. Nonetheless, minutes must be distributed of meetings, so if you have not been given them, you are within your rights to demand them, and to take legal action if you are refused. Moreover, if there is an issue apparent about supplying minutes, you should request an item to be placed on the agenda of the next general meeting where the matter of minutes and their distribution can be discussed by the owners.

  34. I know the complex as I own in it also the building off disabled toilet was voted on at the agm and approved as its law now to have them so we were told.

  35. Hi Janet can I please ask does the building off disabled toilets need a project and approval off the council before they can be built.

  36. Author

    Almost certainly. This is for your administrator to confirm details, though, David, because there might be things I’m unaware of that are specific to your complex.

  37. Dear Janet
    I have an apartment in a residential community without a touristic licence. I think there may be a move by some to obtain a licence to enable them to legally let their apartment.
    I’m sure that I have read that this would be an issue for the Community as a whole (ie no one owner could get a licence for their property alone) and it would be a significant change to the Community which would require 100% approval. Am I correct as I cannot find the reference to this despite searching?!
    Incidentally I don’t think the Community would get a licence as we could not comply with the rules but I am still interested in your answers as I am totally against any such changes.
    Many thanks

  38. Author

    Hi Mike, I think THIS is what you’re referring to. As far as I’m aware the law came into force but has since been appealed. I’m afraid that I don’t know its current legal status.

  39. Hola Janet – compliments of the season and sincere thanks for wide – ranging info. The concern expressed with regard to Residential complexes and plain holiday lettings never seems to go away. One of our owners ( who seems to let continuously) has now ” registered”, has put up a sign. Our otherwise ” on the ball” administrator is adamant that there is nothing the Community can do to prevent it – in the extreme, everyone could register and we could become an Aparthotel !!

  40. Author

    What sort of sign? If it is a VV sign from the Cabildo he has clearly registered properly and is entitled to do so. In such a case the administrator is correct, assuming they have confirmed that the community Statutes don’t prohibit it. If it’s another sort of sign, though, then clearly it’s not legitimate.

  41. Thanks. It is a VV sign – obviously any Law is irrelevant – time for concerned Communities to try and get Statutes updated. !

  42. Author

    No, the law is not irrelevant. This IS the law, and the Government is required by the Supreme Court – an independent judiciary – to loosen the law to allow this.

  43. Hi Janet,

    Can water and electricity supplies be cut off by my community for an outstanding debt, a debt that occurred in 2013 and I didn’t purchase until 2017? My development is threatening to do this. If it’s illegal, can you direct me to legislation that states this.

  44. Author

    As I understand it, this cannot be done, but I don’t know the specific legislation. Having said that they can’t do it, however, owners cannot be in debt either, and I have known an administrator cut off someone’s water on the grounds that the apartment above had had a leak. When the leak was repaired and the water reconnected to the block, the debtor’s apartment suddenly developed a fault that meant it could not be reconnected. Of course once the debt was paid the problem evaporated. Administrators do have ways and means to deal with debtors. Your administrator will be best placed to advise.

  45. Hello Janet.
    This is a question regarding the Minutes of an AGM. Can I ask if a decision was made at an AGM and minuted and minutes approved accordingly – can a decision made in that meeting then be overruled and changed in between AGMs without an EGM being called.
    Thank you.

  46. Author

    not as far as I’m concerned.

  47. CarollanTodd – Janet is as usual correct – there is a pan European edict – water cannot be cut off.
    Either –

    1. The community admin accounts were in error in statement to your lawyers at completion or
    2. Your lawyer never requested one or misread it.

  48. Hello Janet. Can you advise what can be done about dogs that bark almost continuously on a residential complex. They disturb the peace of other residence.

  49. Author

    I’ve moved your question to the page on communities. Please see the first section above for animals in complexes.

  50. Hi Janet
    I wonder if you could help me please.looking back over the last minute of meetings on the budgets we have a total legal reserve which goes back six years ,what are these reserves budget for and can the community use this money to improve the site it average about €5000 a year
    Yours aye
    D bevan

  51. Author

    Communities are required by law to keep a reserve. Your administrator will be able to confirm the specific details about your own community’s funding.

  52. Hi Janet,
    At our forthcoming AGM our normal order of business includes voting,at an early stage, for the administrator.
    Can we insist on this vote to be taken as the last item?
    This would allow us to vote him out,given his appalling behaviour.
    Thank you ,
    Jim 🤔😄

  53. Author

    no, because re-election of the officers is essential for the meeting to proceed. I’m afraid that it, the re-election of president as well as administrator, and the approval of accounts and minutes, are all initial items before the meeting can move on to the substantive issues most owners will wish to discuss.

    When it comes to replacing an administrator, it is essential to set up in advance a pitch that can be made at the general meeting by the prospective administrator. This is self-evidently sensitive territory because an administrator is not normally going to be that happy at being replaced. I have therefore known this arranged in advance completely surreptitiously, with the prospective administrator just turning up at the beginning of the meeting. It takes some arranging, and my advice would be to speak to alternative administrators in advance to make arrangements – they will naturally be only too happy to help given that they have a chance of picking up the work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.