The 'Comunidad de Proprietarios'
a property on a Spanish housing estate you will automatically become
member of a Community of Property Owners (comunidad de propietarios).
You will have a right to vote at the annual general meeting and
an obligation to pay the yearly fees. The only owners who do not
belong are those who have bought a normal house in a village street
or a country home with a large tract of land.
the grounds, installations and buildings in attractive order at
a yearly cost to the members. This can add millions of pesetas of
value to an ordinary house.
Some are quarrelsome
however, and can leave necessary upkeep whilst your funds mysteriously
disappear and debts are run up.
are issues on this matter which, before buying the property, you
Can I see the comunidad statutes?
Ask your seller,
the administator of the comunidad, or the real estate promoter of
a new building, for a copy of the statutes. This will give you inform
on what you regulations you must abide by: i.e no dogs allowed etc.
How much must
I pay every year?
Ask the seller for the receipt for paid-up comunidad fees. By law,
he is obliged to provide this or an account of how much he owes.
Then you can see the fee which has to be paid (determined by your
percentage of the comunidad value).
If the receipt is unavailable, you can visit the administrator of
the comunidad who will be able to tell you.
Are the fees paid up?
Spain's law of 1999 requires the seller to produce a certificate
from the president of the comunidad stating that the property's
fees are either paid up, or to give the amount of the debt owed.
The seller of the property should arrange for this. The buyer can
be held liable only for the comunidad fees of the current and previous
Does the comunidad have debts?
If money needs
to be borrowed in order to pay for repairs on the building you will
assume your percentage of this debt when becoming a member. For
example, if extra payments were agreed upon to pay for a pool, you
would take on these extra fees when becoming the owner. A good idea
would be to study the minutes of the comunidad AGM from the president
or administrator. This should inform you of any such developments.
Does the comunidad legally exist?
It is required
by Spanish law that they legally exist, but some do not have a legal
If it does not yet legally exist or is not properly registered,
you will sooner or later have to sort out, either in the formation
of the comunidad or in making it a legal body.
Unless these associations of owners are registered and the new buyers
agree in their contracts to abide by the statutes, their rules may
not be legally enforceable.