New Community Act

The New Community Act (Law 8/2013): Advantages and Disadvantages

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The New Spanish Community Act has its advantages and disadvantages, as in almost all legal matters. It affects millions of people, for example, homeowners.

This law, like any law, has flaws and virtues. The New Community Act does not always match the point of view of legislators and the present government with what the professionals or society as a whole sees fit.

Below are the main advantages and disadvantages of the New Community Act, which affects millions of people.

Advantages of the New Community Act in Spain

  • The time limit for the new owner to meet all outstanding payments had been for the current year and the one year previous: it is now for the current year and the previous three years. This means greater legal certainty for communities that are in need of financial assistance, because as a result of the financial crisis, many homes have not been able to meet mortgage repayments, which after a time an injunction has been made by the court, and in most cases it is the financial institution that has promoted the lawsuit.
  • The almost complete disappearance of the need for unanimity of the board, except in exceptional cases, so that the life of the community can be more flexible and not be dependent on changes in structure, segregation and division or closure of flats or premises, etc. Trying that everyone, even though the issue might not affect them directly, unanimously approves is something very difficult to achieve.
  • It is also worth emphasizing the right of the disabled (the Act confirms that this includes those persons over seventy years old), who may require renovations for entry accessibility, providing the amount does not exceed more than 12 monthly payments. In any case, these budget constraints do not count, if 3 out of 5 of the owners agree, under section 17.2 of the Act, which expressly states that an elevator will be installed.

Disadvantages of the New Community Act in Spain

  • For any building works or changes to take place, you need the permission of the whole Administration. And not just for large building works, but any type of building work that affects the community, whether it is internal or external. Even minor works that need to be carried out for the disabled, window replacement, etc. must now have 3 out of 5 of the owners of the community to agree, for the works to be carried out. Also, it can occur that there is a strong consensus among the owners and then the Administration denies approval. And that means, among other things, submission of project expenditure, inspections, time, etc.
  • It will not need to be necessary for the homeowners to meet for issues such as “proper maintenance of the building and conservation of the property and its communal areas, including basic safety requirements communal accessibility as well as the aesthetics of the communal areas, for which the administration has a legal duty to maintain”.
  • Basically, it is a totally incomprehensible law: who can decide what is best for a community? This is very subjective and the law empowers the President, but who should be making this decision? It is strongly recommended that all community Presidents now take out a Public Liability Insurance.

It can be considered to be very negative that even small communities have been included in this law. Let us hope, at least, that the Administrators act moderately and without excessive demands, and, in case of conflict, you can always contact Real Estate lawyers who can help you out.

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