Real Estate Property Law in Spain. The community of owners. Important changes on the Spanish Horizontal Division Law affecting the claim for community fees´ lack of payment.

Dear readers,

Those who belong in a community of owners should know that the recent Law 8/2013 of 26th of June, has modified the Horizontal Division Law ( Act 49/1960).

Although several articles have been changed, especially those related to the quorum and number of votes needed to reach the different kind of agreements in a community, we will focus this article on the changes affecting the claim against property owners owing community fees. In this regard we would like to highlight:

1.-From now on, the person or company who acquires a property will be liable together with the property, for the possible debts owed by the previous owners, for the year of the acquisition and 3 natural years before. This is a really important change in the law, as before, the new owners were liable only for the debts of the year when they bought and the previous one, that means a maximum of 2 years. Now, the new owners could be liable for up to a maximum of 4 years debt.

This means that before buying a property, it is crucial you get a debt certificate from the community representatives, done with all the formalities stated by law, in order to make sure that you will not be liable for these debts, which could actually be very high.

2.- Also, from now on, the community owners credits for debts representing the current year and 3 years before, will have preference regarding the article 1923 of the Spanish Civil Code.

This change is really important, it means that the community credit will have preference over the mortgages’ charging the property.

Conclusion: These changes improve the community owners rights and possibilities to get paid and recover the community fees owed, by giving a preference and making the new owners ( purchasers, bank after a bank repossession, etc) liable for the pending debts for a longer period.

If your community has these or other problems, we could assist you.