FAQ: Complexes

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.

 

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111 Comments

  1. Hi Janet
    I have just came back from AGM were I had request to change the rules on Sunbeds in the complex. I currently have a 2 bedroom apt. Yet all apt.s are allocated only 2 Sunbeds. 1 bedroom apt are allowed the same . Even thou 2 bedrooms pay 500 € plus per year . I feel it’s very unfair. I raised it again but was told I did this in 2015 so rules states it can’t be voted on again till 2020. You must wait 5 years. Surly. This can not be true. If everyone is in titled to the same benefits then why are we all not all paying the same. It cost a fortune if my grandkids come over.

    merged second question:
    I live on a residential complex and they charge visitors and residents for Sunbeds is this legal. As they run it as a business.

  2. Author

    The issue of sunbeds is an entirely internal one for the community to agree, and what is “fair” for any given community is for that community to decide and vote on. As to the five year ruling, however, ask them to show you where it says that.

    With regard to your second question, if the community has decided there is to be a charge for sunbeds then yes it’s legal.

  3. Hi Janet,
    The room above our bedroom is a bathroom. when the toilet is used the noise is horrendous. due to the noise, the bedroom is not usable. The noise is coming from the toilet (neighbour owned) and from the pipework linking the above property to our property.
    Appreciate if you can advise who is responsible for the repair costs. I am minded to believe that the fault is with the construction of the property and should be
    taken up with community’s insurers, or is the neighbour (or myself) responsible ?

  4. Dear Janet, Many thanks for quick and clear reply. A last question.
    Can the Administrator or board oblige that the whole community has to participate in the costs for a technical report. This report is a demand of a number of owners who have severe new build construction problems of their PRIVATE dwelling inside the community? Not all dwellings inside the community have these problems and solidarity for private issues cannot be forced by voting or proposal during an AGM. I think participating in costs can only if the construction problems are related with common constructions inside the community e.g. pools, complex entrances that have been built for the whole community. Is that correct?

  5. Author

    In the first instance a technical report of the whole community will be needed, and possibly was voted for by the community at a general meeting, because if legal action is to be taken against the builder it is essential to establish exactly what problems exist, and only a full technical investigation of the entire complex can do that. As such, the community pays at this stage, but thereafter a class action (either of the group of individual owners affected or the community generally) will be taken against the builder.

  6. Hi Janet,
    I have two questions:
    1. Is it allowed to change the proxy-vote results of owners who cannot attend the meeting and have answered “NO” on a general question by their proxy responsible or Administrator? This has been realized during the EGM without warning all owners to split this general question in two questions so that the final result for first question NO and second question YES? Proxy-vote have been changed in that way from NO into NO and YES.
    2. If we want to make use the Spanish Horizontal Property Act article 16-1 what us telling if more than 25% of owners is not agreed with a decision taken during an EGM we can recall this decision if we have at least a support of 25% of owners by organize a new EGM. This 25% quote we have obtained on our private Facebook of all owners of the complex. Can one owner send official mail in the name of these owners to the President or must every owners separately send an official complaint to the President?
    Thanks in advance
    Henry

  7. Author

    1. The proxy is authorised to vote on behalf of the owner. If the proxy then votes in a way which the owner did not intend, the vote is still valid even if the owner does not like it.

    2. If a decision is legally made at an EGM, that stands until revoked at another EGM or AGM. To convene an EGM, the president must be convinced that 25% of owners want to convene it. It thus depends on the president whether he/she would accept a piece of mail from one owner on behalf of the 25%, or whether he/she would insist on seeing input from all the owners seperately. Presumably this would depend on the status of the one owner acting on behalf of the group wanting the EGM because a certain amount of trust is required that he/she is indeed speaking for the required number of owners.

  8. Our gardener was run off the complex in fear of his life and won’t return through fear.Our president says we cannot denounce them Becouse the gardener has to do it .Is this correct

  9. Author

    Anyone can report “a crime”, indeed denouncing a crime is a legal obligation if you see an offence being carried out: the only ones who are not obliged to issue a denuncia are family members of the person committing the crime (see HERE). If the gardener has been threatened by someone, however, then presumably the threats weren’t witnessed by anyone else, so there’s no obligation to report an “offence being carried out”. As such, he will need to make the denuncia personally as the victim.

  10. Hi thanks for clarifying that for.me.Another question if I can.The committee have that many proxy votes that they keep voting thier cronies into the job of Vice President without any consultation from any one on the complex.Canany action be taken 8 of us owners are thinking of starting a residents action group would this be allowed.once again Thank you

  11. Author

    It is allowed, either formal or informal, but the only legal vehicle for running your community is the community itself, and the proxy vote system is legal.

  12. Thanks for that Janet.

  13. Hi Janet,

    What would be the options should a re-elected President at an AGM says that he cannot work with the newly appointed Vice-President (also voted in at the same AGM)

    Thanks.

  14. Author

    No options, really. Both have been elected, and the President is the one who has the power. He doesn’t have to work with the VP anyway: as I say above in the second question in the Officials section, “Article 13 of the Law of Horizontal Division says that the election of vice presidents (plural!) is entirely optional, and that the function is to substitute for the president as and when required – so a VP becomes the president under certain circumstances of absence or inability, rather than having a specific role in his&her own right.” If the president cannot work with the VP he can simply ignore him because his role only becomes a significant one in the absence of the president.

  15. So, until a situation arrives such as the President being absent or unable to perform his role, the vice-president really is just another committee member.

    The title of vice-president gives the impression of grandeur. Are there vice-presidents on all community commitees, or is this just a British thing?

    Thanks.

  16. Author

    As explained above in the Officials section, 2nd question, yes. Not all communities have them, no.

  17. Thanks Janet.

    Things are a lot clearer now.

  18. Hi Janet
    Can a comunty have access to view the community bank account. At any time.Once again Thank you.

  19. Author

    As explained above, the annual accounts have to be approved as the first item on the agenda of every AGM. Beyond that, owners are not entitled to requre the administrators to produce detailed bank breakdowns on demand at other times of the year.

  20. Hi Janet,
    Can you please tell me what is the correct procedure if a President is voted out at an AGM?
    As election of officers is at the beginning of the meeting almost, does the old President step down immediately and the new President take over? Or does the old President continue with the meeting and step down at the end?
    Mike.

  21. Author

    The new one usually takes over during the meeting.

  22. Thank you Janet

  23. I live in Lanzarote and read with great interest all the questions and answers on your website. Can I take it that the LHP is relevant to here as it is in Tenerife? As a candidate for election as president, I intend to call into question the qualifications (if any) of our previous administrator. Is there a register of licensed administrators (or something similar) that I can consult? He runs a rental car agency as his full time occupation, but his general demeanour indicates to me that as administrator, he would make a good window cleaner.

    There are two apartments occupied in our complex that basically don’t get on with each other, unfortunately living next door to each other. One of the apartments (Apt. 1) had an extendable clothes drying frame bolted to the rear of there apartment, in existence when they purchased the apartment, so they have to pass by the open patio of the other residents (Apt.2) they have issues with. This of course causes an embarrassing amount of awkward tension when Apt.1 wishes to go to the rear of the property to hang out their washing. In order to alleviate this situation, Apt.2 in Apt. 1’s absence has taken it upon himself to remove their drying frame in order to avoid Apt. 1’s passage past their property. To add insult to injury, Apt 2 has padlocked their own drying frame up so Apt. 1 can’t use it when they are away. The final blow has come when the existing president issues an email to all residents and slips in a one liner to the effect that all washing is to be dried on owners patios only. This was done AFTER the dryer was removed. It is my belief that Apt. 2 (and/or the president if complicit) are liable to prosecution for theft and /or vandalism to another residents property as this course of action was never put to a communal vote. I would be interested to hear your views on this pathetic situation. I’m a candidate for president on the 22nd of January so a prompt reply would be greatly appreciated as, if elected, I fully intend to replace the dryer as it was before.

  24. Author

    The LPH is a Spanish law so applies throughout the entire country. As to administrators, please see the question “What do presidents and administrators actually do?” in the Officials section above, where there is a link to APAF, the Asociación de Presidentes de Comunidades y Administradores de Fincas. As to his/her qualifications, however, please also see the question in the same section “Does the administrator have to be a specially qualified person …?”

    As to your second question, this is something the community needs to discuss at the next AGM on the 22nd or, if it is impossible to put it on the agenda at this stage, at an EGM called for the purpose. At this meeting, the administrator will have to advise the community on what the Statutes and internal rules permit. It is possible that there was never any right to bolt a washing line to the outside of the apartment concerned, and also possible that the president is absolutely correct that in your community washing must be dried only on owners’ terraces.

    There is not a one-size-fits-all answer in such situations, and as I explain in the last question in the Officials section, a community is not a private fiefdom of the president. If you are elected, your yourself would need to ensure that you can replace the dryer legally when taking into account the Statutes and internal rules, and also possibly the local ayuntamiento bylaws (one in Tenerife, for example, prohibits washing lines on certain terraces in some apartment complexes). These sorts of problems are routine in communities, and your first port of call in all situations is the elected administrator plus, if necessary, any qualified legal advice that the community deems necessary to engage, in order to clarify what is possible and legal taking all specific and particular circumstances into account.

  25. What can you do if you think the president is steeling?

    Is it true she has access to all the money funds?

    Can she sign a cheque by herself, is there only 1 signature required?

    How can you stop the theft of funds?

  26. Author

    The accounts must be approved by the community at each AGM, and if anything is wrong, then the accounts should not be approved. I’ve explained how that works above, with help from a qualified administrator, René Campen from Hestria.

    As to signing cheques, normally two signatures are required, usually president and administrator, but obviously the details of any particular bank account are specific to that account so there might be occasions when one signature only is required.

    With regard to any suspicions of criminal activity, ultimately, it will be a matter for discussion at an AGM or an EGM if urgent. The community will decide if anything illegal has been done – any owner can get any item on an agenda for discussion via the administrator – and then legal action can be taken in the name of the community if it’s deemed necessary. In any case, as I just said, accounts have to be approved at the beginning of the meeting so any suspected theft could be challenged then. Moreover, the president is elected to the position and must be re-elected every year so anyone who doesn’t carry the confidence of the community would be unlikely to be re-elected.

  27. I hope you’re not talking about the complex you live on Lynn

  28. Our Presidenta has been re elected at AGM for at least the last 5 years and maybe longer. Such allegations as the preceding post without actual proof are outrageous. Are there no libel laws in Tenerife ?? Just to be clear i am talking about the post alleging theft of community funds.

  29. Author

    yes there are libel laws … and it is for the community concerned to take action if it feels any is appropriate. What might be libellous is difficult to determine, but do bear in mind that although those in this community might be aware of what is being discussed, no-one else necessarily will.

  30. Totally outrageous Peter. I think if Lynn would clarify her issues we as a community would be more than capable of blowing her silly accusations out of the water. Lynn Appleby has continually made unfounded allegations previously (and not answered questions put to her) on Janet’s page. Maybe she’ll remember when she’s sobered up what she’s posted here. In any event, I’ve put a polite reminder on her fb page asking that she clarify these serious allegations and contact me personally.

  31. Hi Jackie it’s Vicci my mum wasn’t out last night as she was at home with her family not that that has anything to do with anyone how my mum spends her time making out like she has a drink problem. This is a question site there was no names mentioned or complex either.

  32. Now with these replys everyone knows what complex

  33. Lynn and her husband Stephen appleby have just left our apartment on Dinastia after verbally abusing us. Lynn stated that she thought she was asking Janet this question via some sort of private message. Lynn appleby is on record stating that it is the President of Dinastia that her outrageous comments are about. This will be dealt by our Lawyers as a matter of urgency. I’ll post no further on the matter until the outcome of legal proceedings.

  34. Author

    Just to clarify, all comments on posts and pages are public. On the other hand, emails direct to help@janetanscombe.com or messages sent through the Contact Me page (which come to help@) are totally private and confidential.

  35. That’s strange, your Mum told someone they didn’t get home til 6.30 am. In any event Victoria. I’ve a sick man at home, you’re mother and father were out of order and it’s not the first time they’ve brought their own issues to my door. Your mother as you’ve told me has issues they’re not mine or anyone else’s they’re hers. I asked your mother to message me or call me not come abusing me in my own home. She won’t do it again.

  36. You invited her in and shouldn’t you be worrying about your sick man at home rather than things that have nothing to do with you, this is a question forum which she ask a for advice and you ask her on my fb to come and see you. Which see did. Also it was last week we were out to 6:30am which is nothing to do with. With that we normally go out ever Saturday but this week we stayed in with the grandkids. Not that it has anything to do with you. We only drink once a week unlike you. Stop the wine.

  37. Just sitting reading these comments the lady had asked a simple question, doing no harm to anyone and it seems to me your verbally attacking her

  38. Author

    That is enough now please. I’m closing this to comments for the time being.

  39. Author

    I’m reopening this now, with a request for this particular situation not to resurface here, and for anything that needs to be done to be done through the appropriate channels.

  40. Hi Janet
    I have now been voted in as Vice President the secretary who is English has told me it will 3 week before we can visit the bank to add me to list of committee members that can view the community bank account.Am I right in my suspicions that she is hiding something .Regards

  41. Author

    I can’t possibly know if you’re right, Bill, but it seems to me that a three week delay is not completely unreasonable. I don’t know the administrator’s diary, maybe the person she deals with in the bank is away, maybe … . There are various possibilities, but presumably at the AGM where you were elected the accounts were approved, and you have immediate access to the books. You don’t need to be added to those who can view the bank account to see the administrator’s records, though.

  42. With regards to Bill’s comment on delay , isn’t there a period after AGM that allow people, who weren’t present, to post objections to items ?
    This may be part of “delay” , unless there is something Bill is aware of ?

  43. Author

    I believe those who weren’t present at a meeting have 30 days after receiving the minutes to object to items.

  44. Janet. Well controlled – something which is even a little strong for FB!!
    Anyway. Real issue 1. Is there a published hourly pay rate for various contractor expertise, if not, anyone through these pages experience competitive recent examples?
    2. In the case of outstanding community charges, especially when certain costs are disputed ( whether reasonably or not) is it legal in respect of community law, Spanish or European, to publish names and addresses of ” debtors” ? These lists appear to be passed around not marked as in any way restricted. Many thanks for valuable source.

  45. Author

    hi Bob, I’m not aware of any list of official rates for contractors, I’m afraid, but others might know differently. As to publishing debtors, that’s clear: as I say in the Debtors section above (Naming and shaming question), the only time debtors can be announced and publicly displayed is in the call to an AGM, where they and the amount they owe have to be listed in order to determine who has a right to vote at that AGM. Legally, the list can only be published at this point, and then only in individual communication to owners and on the public notice board.

  46. Hi Janet
    Can a President Refuse to except an application to stand for election of the post of President if it Is presented on the 09/01/ 2018 to be considered at an AGM on the12/03/2018. I understand that papers have been refused because of rules made by the sitting President and approved at a committee meeting. In April 2015. The imposed rule says that all applications for committee membership must be declared by 12.00 hrs on the 31’s of December each year. This restriction does not appear in the statutes and rules of our complex. In the event of such rules being imposed do the committee have to seek approval from the community at an AGM?

  47. Author

    The sitting president has no legal right to impose any rule which has not been voted on and approved by all owners at an AGM or EGM. A committee has no legal status at all, so their agreement is irrelevant.

    Even if all the owners had been in agreement, it is questionable that the rule would be valid because, as I understand it, the Law of Horizontal Division allows for any owner to be proposed for president at the AGM itself (provided that said owner is not in arrrears with community charge, etc.) It is illegal for the community to have rules which conflict with the LHD which always takes precedence.

    The administrator should be informed that the president is acting outside his authority, and the president should be warned that he could be on the receiving end of legal action if he obstructs the presentation of an owner’s name for president at an AGM. He himself, after all, must stand for re-election at that meeting.

  48. At an AGM an item was voted on by a paper vote of those attending and the result was the item in question wasn’t passed much to the disappointment of the President, committee and also the administrators.

    The Administrators advised that those who voted against it would be listed in the minutes. Is this normal/possible/legal given the vote itself was a secret vote.

  49. Author

    As I understand it, the administrator does not have the right to publicize how people vote in a secret ballot, though obviously there will be a record of the number of votes cast each way, and all votes must be detailed in the minutes. I would not expect to see names detailed, though.

  50. thanks Janet. We all await to see the minutes with interest.

  51. We live on a complex our property has water damage on our wall which comes from our neighbors bathroom/ water pipes
    Our neighbor is away for the next 6 months and refuse to inform his insurance company our administer have say it’s a private matter what action can we take please

  52. Author

    It is only a community matter when it involves communal areas, and so your administrator is quite right. You will need to speak to your own insurers who should pay out and then ascertain who insures your neighbour’s property and then reclaim from them.

  53. Complex costs. Does anyone have current examples of any skilled, semi skilled or non skilled pay rates please. In our complex it seems slightly opaque. Many thanks

  54. Author

    I’ve moved your question to the appropriate page, Bob, but you didn’t get a response when you asked last month so I suspect no-one has such examples. Why do you not ask an independent administrator who might be able to advise? There are details, for example, of Hestria, on the Resources page.

  55. Hi Janet
    An owner applied to our administrator to stand for the position of President of our community, requsting that the application go forward for considered at our forth coming AGM. Application’s of this type are usualy made using a form provided by the community for the purpose. Because the applicant did not have a form at the time the request was made using a professionally written letter. The application was refused by the sitting president because a form had not been used, since the need to use such forms is not mentioned in our rules or statutes can an application be refusrd on thes grounds
    Jim

  56. Author

    The sitting president has no right to refuse the application on these grounds, and I suggest your fellow owner sends a Burofax to the administrator requiring that he is included in the list of applicants for president. He should include (and be prepared to make good on) the clear intention of taking legal action if he is not so included. It is essential to have written confirmation that the administrator has been sent this communication, hence the Burofax because they confirm delivery and what the content is.

    The bottom line is that no officer of a community, nor an administrator, has the legal right to prevent someone standing for election because the law explicitly requires that the election must take place. Moreover, it does not restrict the means by which applicants do actually stand and the community cannot impose arbitrary restrictions which limit owners’ rights as bestowed by law.

  57. Hi Janet, what would we do without you.
    One of the owners (who hardly ever uses his house) on our residential complex, has just started to accept anyone for any length time, as a tenant in the house. We have now got any Tom Dick and Harry, jumping fences because they don’t have keys to get in and generally misusing the property. It has turned into a dosshouse over night, what can we do please.

  58. Author

    If he is letting legally there is little you can do other than remonstrate with him and demand that he ensures his tenants are properly provided for, but if he is not letting legally then your administrator needs to take action … and that action depends on how the law or the community’s rules are being broken.

  59. Thanks Janet, just one more quick question…..can our President ask to see the tenancy agreements of these casual occupants.

  60. Author

    no! A president can ask, but s/he has no legal right to see private contracts!

  61. Hi Janet our sitting president is going to be challenged at our AGM. The setting president has got the administrator to write to all owners asking them to vote for the sitting president. And not the nominee Since the administrator is employed by the community he should be neutral in such matters, and not be canvassing for the sitting president jim

  62. Author

    The administrator cannot possibly do this! Given the time constraints, one option might be to demand the administrator sends an identical letter out for the nominee or you will take legal action against their administration.

  63. Hi Janet thanks for that , we now also have Senior office staff calling owners in the UK asking them to vote for the sitting president, this is being done in working hours using the community office telephones at the communities exspence, you could not make it up. What action can we take
    Jim

  64. Hi Janet, I am a resident on the complex that Jim is talking about and disgusted with the behaviour of both the administrator and incumbent president. What action can be taken and can we name and shame them?

  65. Author

    I don’t advise naming and shaming. Ultimately, it achieves little and risks a denuncia for defamation of character. The appropriate and legal way to deal with a situation like this is to get together with like-minded owners and seek to elect a new president and administrator. The officials and administration have to be elected, after all, at every year’s AGM, by law. If there is not a majority that shares this view then that’s just democracy, I’m afraid, but if the majority feel the same, end of problem!

    If the prospective candidates for president feel they are disadvantaged by the administration using data-protected information to promote one particular candidate over others, there is nothing to stop those other candidates canvassing every single door or buzon in the complex with their own version of events, and their promotional material for their own candidacy.

  66. Hi Janet.I am now the Vice President of our comunity.I have been told that I can only sign cheques if the president or her ( the secretary) is not present.this sounds to cosy as she will do anything the president tells her.There is a lot of money going through our account but nothing being done. I would have thought that in order of hierarchy should it be
    President
    Vice President
    Secretary.
    Am I right.
    Thanks in advance for your advice.

  67. Author

    As I explain above (see the question “Does the committee have any legal status” in the Officials section) the Vice President is only an official position in so far as the VP deputises for the President so you have been advised correctly. The signatories to the community’s bank account will be whomever the community has decided should be the signatories but it is usual and normal for only the president and secretary/administrator to do it. Others can be included, however, depending on community decisions and bank arrangements.

    If I may comment further, your several questions all seem centred on a suspicion that you are being misled by community officials. If you believe, or come across evidence to show, that there is malfeasance, then the legal options are simple and clear. Get together with like-minded owners and seek to elect a president and administrator that you feel you can trust. As I’ve said before many times, if this doesn’t work because most owners are not of your way of thinking, that’s just the way democracy works and you have to accept it, but if you get sufficient agreement then you can change things. This is your route to a peaceful life in your community.

  68. Thank you.Your advice clarifies matters

  69. Our AGM decided (against my vote only) that a particular cost (painting common areas) should be distributed with equal share per apartment and not per quota. Our quotas ranges from 6% to 2,2% so this is unfair. This is also clearly against the rules of the urbanisation, and also against the horizontal law (as I read it). How do I challenge this?? Solicitor?? And what will s(he) do as first step??

  70. Author

    You will need to check with your adminstrator (assuming they’re qualified professionally and not just an owner) whether a community can vote to disperse a cost equally regardless of quota percentages. My feeling is that they can’t do this, at least not without unanimous agreement, but if your administrator is in fact qualified, then presumably they were at the meeting, so there is tacit acknowledgement that the vote was legal. I’m afraid that this is something a qualified person needs to advise on, and if you get nowhere with the administrator, then yes, I’m afraid you would need to consult a lawyer or another qualified administrator.

  71. An idea might have been to call for an extra month(s) communidad payment(s) either up front or over time to form the budget for the painting. In this way the contribution would be fair as the communidad payment is based on the quota percentage.

  72. I am an owner on the complex referred to by Brian Edwards and “Jim” above where there is an attempt by a very small number of owners including one with undue influence to replace the President. Sadly numerous of the statements made here are not true. For example the Administrator did Not write to owners asking them to vote for the President, the actual text was
    “It is important that you exercise that right and vote in accordance with your own personal view and decision”
    The sitting President has done a good job for five years and this is being disrupted by a tiny minority who might be seen as promoting a vested interest. It is a very sad state of affairs.

  73. Author

    And since I now know which community this is, I will repeat here what I’ve said in email to one member of it: neither I nor this website can get involved in community disputes. From my perspective, this page is for questions and answers — and no-one should infer that an answer to a specific question implies anything more than it’s the answer to that particular question, regardless of the factuality or accuracy of the question itself. This is therefore the last comment in this respect relating to this community that I am prepared to allow on this page.

  74. I live on a complex where there was an accident a few years ago, a child drank cleaning liquid.

    We have been paying a derrama for at least 3 years every month (the cost is slightly higher than the community fees which we also have to pay monthly.

    What is the legal standing on this matter? Would an insurance policy not been in force to cover something like this.

  75. Author

    Only your administrator and/or president can confirm the terms of your community insurance policy, I’m afraid, or the specific reasons the derrama was imposed, or any legal judgment that might have been made. There’s no “one answer” I can give you.

  76. Hi Janet.after the recent rainstorm the terrace owned by others leaked water into our apartment which is situated below.
    Looking at document, Law on Horizontal property with modification made in law 8/99,it implies that the community are responsible, refer to article 10.
    Do you know generally who is responsible for the weathertightness of the terrace? the owner of the terrace or the community.
    Thanks
    John Piggott

  77. Author

    The integrity of a private terrace (i.e. not a communal part of the complex) is the responsibility of its individual owner. If there are any particular or individual issues that affect that bare statement on your community it is your administrator who will be best placed to advise.

  78. i do not fully understand the answer to the question of the 5th March. “The integrity of a private terrace (I.e. not a communal part) – are the terraces/balconies including the woodwork on any terraces/balconies in an apartment block a communal part and the upkeep the responsibility of the community

  79. Author

    It depends on what is on your escritura, but normally terraces including woodwork are part of the freehold of the property and so the responsible of the owner, not the community. Normally, too, the community is responsible for the upkeep of external surfaces in terms of painting and suchlike. This is the norm, but specific circumstances might vary complex to complex and only your administrator will be able to confirm exactly what the situation is in your case.

  80. Hi Janet in regards to voting for an president me and my wife own a property but only my name is in the title deeds but we are maried in comunity of property can she stand as an president

  81. Author

    only you can stand because despite the separation of goods under Spanish law, you alone are the owner named on the escritura.

  82. Hi Janet, on our complex contact has been lost with at least three owners as a result all these properties are now in debt some for years. What is the procedure as we have asked solicitors along the way with no outcome.

  83. Author

    What do you mean “with no outcome” when you’ve asked lawyers? At the very least they should have advised you that you can take the owners (as defined in the Land Registry) to Court, and eventually their properties can be embargoed and subsequently appropriated and sold at auction to cover debts. This would be something decided by and then carried out in the name of the community, of course, so your president would be the legal representative for such action. What exactly are you finding to be the barriers to information or action?

  84. From my personal experience, Janet, the main obstacles faced by Karen will be 1, the Administrator and. 2, the President. In our case, both of them would appear to rely on hearsay rather than take the trouble to read the Horizontal Property Act and rely on no one challenging their “knowledge”. Still, our old Administrator has now been removed, so hang on in there Karen.😊

  85. Hi Janet , our Community Rules state that no work be carried out at weekends except on a Saturday by permission in advance and nothing on Sundays.
    We are having major refurb done in pool area which is to last 2 weeks and our President has just unilaterally announced that work may be done this weekend including Sunday (non emergency) .This is against the wishes of many residents & guests !
    Can he do this ?

  86. Author

    My understanding is that this can’t be done, but under special circumstances a particular licence can be obtained for it. Your administrator will need to clarify, I’m afraid, whether there are any particular conditions that apply, and why something so unusual is being permitted by the president.

  87. Hello Janet.

    Could you tell me please if a solar panel/s can be installed on the community roof area without permission. Given that some owners have already installed them on the community roof… including the president.

    If permission is required what would be the procedure for gaining that permission. Could permission be granted by the president alone, or does permission need to be obtained from the community as a whole by way of an AGM.

    Lastly, has not a precedent been set by other owners having installed solar panels over the years without proper permission having been obtained.

    Regards,

    Peter.

  88. Author

    no it can’t, nothing can be installed on a community roof. Permission needs to be obtained from the community and the administrator will need to confirm about other permissions, whether an obra menor licence needs to be obtained from the ayuntamiento, or whether there are special regulations in place for solar panels (I believe there are but am not sufficiently informed about them to advise). Certainly for anything like this the president needs communal agreement … as I’ve said many times, a community is not a private fiefdom for a president. As to precedent, that applies to “design” but not to illegal installations.

  89. Thank you for the explanation Janet.

    Regards,

    Peter.

  90. Our community rules state President for one year not returning for next five. this has not always been adhered to. Our A G M is at the end of this month April 2018. I requested that the agenda had a query about applying the rule before the election of the next years President. If that happens can she change the rule to apply with immediate effect?

  91. Author

    Your community can’t have such a rule so it can’t be changed. Any owner is entitled by the law to stand for office every year. The only rule is that the election has to take place each year.

  92. Can you advise the relationship between the Spanish Laws if horizontal division and a Community’s own Statutes and Resolutions. In our community there is clearly a conflict in some the provisions and it would be useful to know which takes precedence. My reading of the statutes suggests that local planning laws have precedence but that all other civil laws are subsidiary

  93. Author

    The law always takes precedence over and is never is never subsidiary to internal rules. If there is a genuine conflict with Statutes then I recommend you speak to the administrator who will determine the best way to proceed, either with or without qualified legal help. If it’s internal rules, however, then they are not a real issue … they can be changed, or ignored, if they’re in conflict with the law.

    One area where this is clearly demonstrated, for example, is communities which pass a resolution fully legally within an AGM setting which sets an internal rule that bans animals. This is against the law because it unconstitutionally restricts an individual’s right to own an animal. The rule doesn’t need to be officially lifted or scrapped because it was never legal to begin with so members of the community can ignore it with impunity. It just seems rather silly for a community to pass such rules but this does happen quite frequently.

  94. Our community has unfortunately recently become divided into two groups that seem to be at war and seem to be badly behaving and equally intent on disrupting the community. Our recent AGM meeting lasted 8 hours and never even managed to agree on a President, that was the last vote we had and was not a ‘double majority’??, they said about going to ‘jucio equility’?? and then the existing president stopped the meeting as everyone was basically too tired to continue. Also many people had obviously gone home from the meeting by then and it was only half way through the agenda.
    Since then I have heard nothing just loads of rumors and allegations. The president isn’t here now. What happens if a AGM is stopped like that, should it be continued at another time? No one here seems to know.

  95. Author

    If your AGM failed to elect a president and/or there was an inconclusive vote, the only solution will be recourse to the Courts. This will take years and costs thousands. It is tragic when a community forces itself into a situation where the only option is self harm, but I have no solution other than the Courts when such is the case.

  96. Are there any statutory regulations regarding maximum occupancy levels on community complex apartments ?

  97. Author

    Yes, the council will be able to clarify any local bylaws that might be additionally relevant but usually maximum occupancy levels can be worked out by bedrooms (as determined by description in the escritura regardless of any alterations) … i.e. two double rooms, occupancy level 4, etc. I believe that the specific formula is classified by square metreage as determined by regional autonomous Governments.

  98. What did Pat mean by a “double majority”?

  99. Author

    I took it as a majority with both the ways of counting the votes (per head and per quota).

  100. Great site, thanks for your contribution. If an owner of an apartment in a complex wishes to rent unused communal space (grounds) next to their apartment, does this require 100% or 3/5ths agreement? I would have thought that this constitutes removal of communal space and thus affects the statutes and needs 100%?

  101. Thanks Janet.

  102. Author

    Your administrator will need to confirm percentages required for any particular vote, and whether it is actually possible for one owner to rent anything belonging to the entire community, which I would doubt.

  103. Good evening Janet,
    We have a problem with our next door owner, he has a leak coming from his bathroom through into our bedroom. We arrived here in fuerteventura 2 weeks ago and the wall was ok, last week we found the wall wet and bubbled and some of the bubbles have burst and there is like fury fungus coming out of it. We contacted the owner who is in England at the moment to inform him and asked for his insurance details. He is refusing to give any details and has said he would deal with it when he comes out later in the year. This is no good to us as the wall is becoming worse every day.
    We have contacted our insurance only to be told that he will have to make the claim with his insurance.
    We are no longer in contact with the owner as he keeps sending abusive messages to us so we will not reply to him. We are getting nowhere with the situation and would be great full if you can advise us what we can do to resolve the matter.
    At the moment he has holiday renter in and we can’t turn his water off to stop the leak, actually we are a residential complex so he really shouldn’t be renting.
    Kind Regards.

  104. Author

    Your claim is with your own insurance company, and it is no good for them to say that “he will have to make the claim”. They must chase him for you, it is not for you to do it. You pay a premium for an insurance policy which you now want to claim on. Your insurers should pay out and it is then their problem to recoup the money. If you have further problems with them, get a lawyer to write to them.

  105. most communitys have an insurance that will sort this out without involving your respective insurance companies. it saves a lot of messing around.

  106. could you tell me how we can change the president of our community as he will not resign

  107. Author

    As I explain in several answers above, the election of a president must be on the agenda for every annual general meeting. There is no question that a president can just continue without being re-elected annually. As to getting a president to resign in the middle of his term, you would need to call an EGM with this as the single item on the agenda (the requirements and procedure for this are also explained above).

  108. Hi Janet , for an AGM/EGM that is called can Proxy votes be sent by email rather than normal mail which is very unreliable here?
    Does the owner sign the Proxy form , scan and send it by email and that is accepted by administrator?

  109. Author

    It depends on the administrator. I have known some accept email confirmation while others refuse to let anyone into the room without a printed out form that they’ve designed themselves which is signed and in duplicate and notified by email to the administrator in advance. For security, every owner needs to check with their administrator what they’ll accept … there is absolutely no requirement for anything other than a simple email but some impose their own requirements and it’s always a shame when owners come across an administrator who makes rules that are neither clear nor notified in advance.

  110. Hello Janet,
    I live on a residential complex in Tenerife. Is it legal for me to fit a video doorbell at my door. This will help me to monitor visitors and prevent vandalism, but the camera view would also cover the pathway that I share with my neighbour. The Ring model that I am considering, stores date to the cloud, that I can access if I have any issues.

  111. Author

    This requires up-to-date data protection information and you need to check this with your administrator, I’m afraid.

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