June 27, 2017 at 12:06 pm #213560
We have holidayed in our little studio apartment near Begur for 18 happy years now, and regretted not a moment. 40 apartments ranging in size from our tiny 25sq.m terrace free apartment with wall view to a 100sq.m.+ penthouse with wide sweeping views of Auguablava worth ???. The horizontal property act has done great work in maintaining a stable and harmonious community over the years, the big owners using their greater coefficient to ensure their capital investment was protected, the little ones protected from draconian community charges by their smaller one. Few disputes, mostly minor, and both large and small owners free and open with each other. We were lucky enough to have Presidents and Administrators who ran the community frugally and efficiently and communicated widely.
Until a year or two ago when the rot set in. As with all life, time waits for no man. Owners move on, or they move heavenwards. As our apartment block, converted from a ’60’s hotel in the 1980’s is now some 35 years old, the cull has now started and new owners are in the ascendancy. They expect more for their money, and costs have doubled in the last few years. Fair enough. They have spent big money converting their old apartments and want a general ambience to match. Regretfully, they also began to fret about how much this ambience was costing, and looking jealously at the lower costs of the smaller apartments.
Cue in a new owner for the penthouse, a man who has made millions in property (I believe) and regards his new pad as an extension of his large finca a little further inland, and owner through his company of other investment property at our development and probably elsewhere. In short, a rich man who know the ropes, has lawyers and is not afraid to use his leverage. Apparently, the law has been different in autonomous Catalunya since 2005. Certain expenses can now be shared per apartment. To our penthouse owner that means everything except maintenance of the main building itself; gardens, outbuildings, pool, services et al, and hence the agenda item for our AGM next month.”Proposal for the equal distribution of community costs”
Any advice beyond “get a lawyer!”?? Aparently the vote threshold to achieve the change is 80%, and the proportion of small owners is about 20%, not all active in the community. Oh, and to complicate things, 11 of the apartments were illegally extended in the 1980’s, including that of the penthouse owner.
I’ve included this in the topics section as I think it might be useful for anybody think of setting up in Catalunya. Geat website BTW, thanks. I have learned a lot from it.
June 27, 2017 at 2:15 pm #213597
Fascinating post Alan. At least you had many years of the Community of Owners chugging along nicely. It’s such a common source of conflict, as you can see from a cursory glance at the threads in this forum going back over the years.
As you probably know, the whole subject is complicated because you have the governing law on the one hand (which could be regional or national), and community byelaws on the other (though not always). Sometimes they contradict.
I hate to say it but you might have to consult a lawyer to see where you stand. But first make sure you read articles on Communities of Owners by regular legal-contributor Raymundo Larraín, starting with this one:
October 31, 2017 at 5:43 am #217621
Before taking any action, you need to consult with lawyer. After reading you problem, I think consulting a lawyer will be better for you.
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