Community Rules on Spanish Urbanizations
It’s important to have rules in the community to make sure that everyone is living in a way which is sociable, respectful and minimizes problems amongst owners, tenants and holiday makers.
Rules are usually passed for –
- Community payments
- Rubbish disposal
- Use of communal facilities
These rules will be circulated to all the members of the community and passed at an AGM. However, how do you enforce those rules without creating tension and being seen as the urbanization police?
These issues can be pushed through the court, but it can be time consuming and costly. Another option is to use an arbitrator or mediator who can be a neutral party and come up with a fair and sensible solution. Some lawyers offer this service. Some communities have tried to impose fines, or even gone as far as criminal prosecution, however all of these ideas have potential problems and can leave the community president in a difficult situation, not to mention the associated costs to the community. One important issue to keep in mind is that when creating a community rule, it must comply with local and national law. In Spain community laws are subject to the Horizontal Property Law known as the Ley Horizontal de Propiedad.
One idea we saw which sounded good was to offer a 20% discount on community fees if they are paid on time. This can reduce late payment but can also be forfeited in the case that owners consistently breach community rules. However, it is not clear whether this method would be supported if the decision was contested and it was taken to court, so before applying a rule like this get legal advice and the support of all the owners.
If you feel that any rules are not working within your urbanization, why not run a poll on your community website to make sure that the rules all still have majority support and find out where the problems are arising.
Please share with us the rules which work the best in your community, or perhaps those which you feel create tension for no reason and how you suggest imposing community rules by posting below.