Healthplan Spain


A Guide To Community Fees In Spain Expat Tips

If you own a property in Spain that is part of a development, it's likely that you'll need to pay community fees.

Unfortunately, many people buying property in Spain are not aware of these fees and end up being hit with unexpected costs.

In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about community fees in Spain, including:

  • What are community fees?
  • How much are community fees, and how are they set?
  • Who has to pay community fees?
  • What happens if you don't pay community fees?
  • What do community fees cover?
  • How are community fees managed and administered?

By understanding these key aspects of community fees in Spain, you can gain a better understanding of your responsibilities as a property owner, the services and amenities that are provided, and the potential consequences of non-payment. With this knowledge, you can make informed decisions and manage your property investment effectively.

What are community fees in Spain?

Community fees in Spain are the costs paid by owners of properties in shared buildings or complexes, such as apartments, townhouses, and villas. These fees cover the maintenance and upkeep of communal areas and services, such as cleaning, gardening, lighting, elevators, and swimming pools, as well as the insurance and management fees of the building or complex.

The amount of the community fees can vary depending on the size, location, and facilities of the property, as well as the level of services provided by the community. In general, owners must pay a monthly or quarterly fee that is determined by the community's budget, which is approved by the owners in a community meeting.

Who has to pay community fees in Spain?

If you own a property in a development in Spain, it's mandatory to pay community fees. These fees are paid by all property owners in the development to maintain the communal areas, such as gardens, swimming pools, and access roads.

The amount of community fees can vary depending on the facilities available in the development, and owners of properties with more extensive amenities can expect to pay higher fees. The details of these fees can be found in the documentation signed during the property purchase, and the frequency of payments can vary from monthly to annual or quarterly.

It's important to note that if a community has a large number of long-term debtors, the other community members may end up paying higher fees eventually. Therefore, it's advisable to review the minutes of the most recent annual general meeting of the community to understand the financial status of the development and any potential issues affecting it. It's crucial to seek advice from a professional adviser who can provide a clear picture of the community's finances and guide you on how to proceed.

How much are the community fees in Spain?

The cost of community fees in Spain can vary widely depending on the location, size, and facilities of the property. In general, the fees can range from around €50 to €250 per month, but in some cases, they can be even higher for luxury properties with extensive amenities and services.

It's important to note that community fees are not the only cost associated with owning a property in Spain. Property owners are also responsible for paying annual property taxes such as IBI (Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles), utility bills, and any mortgage payments or maintenance costs.

When considering purchasing a property in Spain, it's important to factor in all of these costs to determine the total cost of ownership and ensure that it fits within your budget. It's also a good idea to review the community's budget and fee history to ensure that the fees are reasonable and sustainable over time.

What do community fees cover?

Community fees in Spain cover the expenses associated with the maintenance and upkeep of the communal areas and services in shared buildings or complexes. These fees are paid by all property owners in the community to cover the collective costs of maintaining and managing the property.

The community fees generally cover services such as cleaning and maintenance of communal areas, such as gardens, swimming pools, elevators, and common spaces. It may also include expenses related to security and insurance, as well as the management fees of the building or complex. The exact services and facilities covered by the community fees will depend on the individual community and the level of services provided.

How are the community fees set?

In Spain, community fees are typically set by the community of owners, which is a group composed of all the owners of the properties in a particular building or complex. The community of owners is responsible for maintaining the common areas of the property, such as the building facade, the roof, the stairs, the elevator, the pool, the gardens, and so on.

The community fees are usually determined by a vote of the community of owners at a general assembly, which is held at least once a year. The amount of the fees is based on the estimated expenses for maintaining the common areas and providing services to the owners, such as security, cleaning, and maintenance. The expenses are usually divided among the owners in proportion to the size of their property or their share of ownership in the common areas.

The community fees may also include a reserve fund, which is used to pay for unexpected repairs or improvements to the property. The amount of the reserve fund is typically calculated based on the age and condition of the property, as well as the anticipated expenses for future repairs and maintenance.

What happens if I do not pay my community fees?

In Spain, not paying your community fees can have serious consequences. If an owner fails to pay their community fees, the community of owners can take legal action to recover the debt.

The first step is usually to send a notification to the owner, informing them of the outstanding debt and requesting payment. If the owner does not pay, the community of owners may take legal action, which can result in the following:

  • Interest and Late Payment Fees: The community of owners can charge interest and late payment fees for any outstanding debt, which can significantly increase the amount owed.
  • Legal Fees: If legal action is taken, the owner may be responsible for paying the legal fees associated with the case.
  • Embargo and Seizure of Assets: If the debt remains unpaid, the community of owners can request that a judge issue an embargo on the owner's assets or even seize the property to recover the debt.
  • Auction of the Property: In extreme cases, the property may be auctioned off to recover the debt.

It's important to note that the community of owners must follow a specific legal process before taking any of these actions, and the owner has the right to defend themselves against any claims made by the community. However, it's always best to avoid falling behind on community fees to avoid any legal issues or financial difficulties.

How is the community of owners regulated in Spain?

The Horizontal Property Law (Ley de Propiedad Horizontal) is a law in Spain that governs the ownership, administration, and management of properties that are divided into multiple units or lots. This is according to the Law 49/1960 of July 21.

The law applies to residential buildings, commercial buildings, and other types of properties that are subject to communal ownership.

The Horizontal Property Law establishes the legal framework for the creation of communities of owners, which are responsible for the administration and management of the common areas of the property, such as the entrance hall, the staircases, the elevator, the gardens, the pool, and other shared spaces.

The law sets out the rights and obligations of the owners of the individual units or lots, as well as the community of owners as a whole. It covers a range of issues related to communal living, including the rules for holding general meetings, the procedures for making decisions and resolving disputes, the allocation of expenses and maintenance costs, and the enforcement of community rules and regulations.

The Horizontal Property Law is intended to promote harmonious and efficient communal living, by providing a clear legal framework for the management and administration of properties with multiple owners. It is an important legal tool for property owners, as it helps to ensure that their rights are protected and that the property is managed in a fair and transparent manner.

Learn more about community properties in Spain

Pool Image by Maria from Pixabay

Complex Image by Amanda from Pixabay