CHECK community of owners



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Points to be checked with the Community of owners

Before buying a property in Spain pertaining to a Community of Owners, is advisable get information about its situation. The property itself will be liable for the debts and expenses generated since the purchasing moment, but if we do not take the proper precautions, will also be liable for past debts which belong to the seller. The Check list must be:

The community of owners in Spain

Former debts

Selling a property in Spain that is part of a community of owners, at the moment of the purchase deed, the seller must provide a certificate of debts stating that the transferor is up to date in the payment of the community fees or specify the debts existing (art 9.1.f Condominium Act).

The certificate must be issued by the secretary of the community with the approval of the President.

The property is liable for the debts not paid by the transferor of the annuity ongoing and the three preceding.

The buyer can at time of signature of deeds, waive the presentation of the certificate. This waiver must be expressed in the public deed, in which the seller has to manifest, whether there are outstanding debts. The seller false statement could lead to criminal consequences. To avoid problems ask for the certificate.

Another important obligation for the seller in relation to the community of owners, is to inform the administrator or community responsible for the sale of the property. Article 9.1 Spanish Condominium Act establishes the seller's liability for the debts produced after the purchase date in case of lack of communication to the community of owners the new situation.

Financial situation of the Community

It is also advisable to ask the community responsible (Administrator or president) for a financial status report. It may be that the property you are thinking to buy is up to date on payments to the community of owners, but the rest of the neighbors don't, resulting in lack of maintenance and care of common facilities. Be careful not to buy a ticket for the Titanic.

Repairs and maintenance

It is important to know whether in the community have been made, or are planned to do, improvement or maintenance works of common facilities. This implies additional charges in the community fees and it is advisable that the certificate also refers to it.

It is also recommended to get information about planned works, and the ones that neighbors are talking to undertake in the future. The community minutes are an extraordinary source of information in this regard, since contains all the discussion topics on the community assemblies.

The checking of the community of owners in Spain when buying property

Legal disputes on the property

As with the Repairs and maintenance, we must inquire whether there is any dispute among the neighbors of the community on any issue that may affect our particular property. In the case of the communities of owners, carrying out works in the private elements require authorization of the community when these affect common elements (install air conditioning apparatus, cover a terrace ...) and also must comply with the urban regulation of the city where the property is located.

The community minutes are, also in this case, a very good way to be informed.

If we see any peculiarity in the property we are intending to buy, in the form of making a difference with the rest of the building, that looks like was performed after its construction date is a clue to make us suspicious of issues down the line. Inquire the City hall whether there is any issue running about such building is a good idea too.

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