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LIFE IN A COMMUNITY OF OWNERS IN SPAIN

Everything you could possibly want to know about living in a community of owners in Spain and what it entails

The Annual General Meeting of Owners (AGM)
12 February 2016 @ 12:58

Whether you live in Spain all year round or just use your property as a holiday home or even rent it out, you should be aware of one of the most important community events of the year – the AGM.

This is your opportunity as an owner to attend and meet up with the Committee and Administrators face-to-face, who work hard all year round to maintain the Community and ensure its smooth running, along with other owners. Important community issues will be discussed at length and it is important for you to be there, to take part and to vote accordingly – to have your say in how the community should be run. For various reasons, many people don’t attend and vote at these meetings, and often they are the ones you will hear moaning about things not being done to their liking when they arrive for their holiday!!  Often the excuse is that they didn’t know that it was going to be held, or that they don’t really want to take part in community affairs. However, by being an owner in a community means that you are involved in that community from day one and it is in your best interests to take an active part.

The Law which governs the holding of meetings in Communities is the Horizontal Property Law (‘Ley de Propiedad Horizontal’ in Spanish). Additionally, specific statutes and Bylaws may be drafted by the community of owners governing such things as the organisation of meetings and this is discussed in more detail below.

When is the AGM?

An AGM must be held at least once a year primarily to approve the accounts for the past year and the budget for the forthcoming one. The date will vary amongst communities, but will normally be fixed at a time when maximum attendance is most likely.

In addition to this, an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called at any other time during the year if requested by owners holding 25% or more of the votes.

How will I know about it?

When you become an owner in a Community, your lawyer should have provided the Administrators with your personal contact details, both for postal communications and email. Obviously the preferred method these days is electronic communication as it is quicker and so much cheaper than using the post, especially with the large volumes of international post that it would involve. It is your job to ensure that you keep the Administrators up to date with any changes so that you don’t miss out on any news and notices which they send you.

The notification of the meeting (‘notice’)that they send you will contain details of when and where the meeting will be held, and usually, especially in larger communities, it will all be in your own language. The notice should also appear on the Community Notice Board as well.

By Law, a minimum of 3 days’ notice must be given for the AGM. As this short period creates logistical problems for non-resident owners, communities with a high proportion of these owners may include in their Bylaws a more realistic notice of, say, 14 days. There’s freedom and flexibility to this rule as each community deems fit in accordance with their own needs and circumstances.

The notice will also contain the ‘Agenda’ for the meeting so that you will know exactly what will be discussed on the day. It is the Chairman’s job to make sure that these items are adhered to, especially important for those who are not in attendance, as they would otherwise claim that they hadn’t been correctly notified.

A typical agenda may include:

  1. Reading (and approval ) of the previous General Meeting minutes (not compulsory)
  2. Approval of the previous financial year’s accounts
  3. Approval of the current financial year’s budget and changes to community fee charges
  4. Discussion and approval of debtors (i.e. those owners who owe community fee charges) and judicial action proposed for the recovery of the debts (note that anyone in debt to the community of owners at the beginning of the meeting will not have the right to vote at that meeting. It is therefore extremely important that you make sure that your fees are fully paid up in good time before the meeting).
  5. Renewal or reelection of the various Committee members and Administrators
  6. Specific Important issues which need voting on affecting the community as a whole, for example proposed building works and pool timetable changes etc.
  7. Any other business (not compulsory)

Appointing a Representative or Proxy if unable to attend

If you find that you are unable to attend and vote at the meeting, then do not worry as all is not lost! You are entitled to appoint another person to attend and vote in your place which is known as appointing a proxy. There are specific rules governing how you need to notify this appointment, and these should be laid out in the notice of the meeting.

 

Minutes of the Meeting

After the meeting is held, the secretary of the meeting, who will have kept a record of the discussions, will circulate copies of the minutes (once approved) to all owners, even those who didn’t attend.  You should check them and keep them safely as a record and also note the date of the next AGM, if one was decided during the meeting, so that you can plan ahead for attending next time.

 

 

 



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11 Comments


Sten46 said:
13 February 2016 @ 00:22

I note that you mention several times the words 'law' and 'must'. I have to ask - is this in actual fact, correct?
The reason I ask is that I live, quite happily, in a community of ten units - nine Spanish and us. We have a president; we do not have a commit


Sten46 said:
13 February 2016 @ 00:22

I note that you mention several times the words 'law' and 'must'. I have to ask - is this in actual fact, correct?
The reason I ask is that I live, quite happily, in a community of ten units - nine Spanish and us. We have a president; we do not have a commit


Sten46 said:
13 February 2016 @ 00:22

I note that you mention several times the words 'law' and 'must'. I have to ask - is this in actual fact, correct?
The reason I ask is that I live, quite happily, in a community of ten units - nine Spanish and us. We have a president; we do not have a commit


Sten46 said:
13 February 2016 @ 00:29

I note that you mention several times the words 'law' and 'must'. I have to ask - is this in actual fact, correct?
The reason I ask is that I live, quite happily, in a community of ten units - nine Spanish and us. We have a president; we do not have a committee, AGM or administrators, the community being self-administering. If the president has a problem, he knocks on each door, talks to each owner, and sorts it out. If any of us has a problem, we knock on the president's door, (next door to me), discuss it with him and sort it out. It has worked very well for the ten years we have been here.


Weescottie said:
14 February 2016 @ 07:26

Very timely, we've just received notice of our very first AGM having only bought 8 months ago. Unfortunately the timing is bad as we return to the UK the day before the meeting. We don't yet know our mainly Spanish neighbours well enough or have the language skills to ask them to be our proxy voters. Is it appropriate to ask the president who we know and trust to be our proxy??


resortalia2 said:
15 February 2016 @ 11:00

Weescottie : Yes, in our opinion this would be the best option. Like you say, you know and trust them. Be sure to let them know how you wish to vote on each item on the agenda as applicable'.





resortalia2 said:
16 February 2016 @ 09:36

Sten46 : It all depends on whether you live in a Community of Owners or not. If it is a proper community of owners, you would need to hold Annual General Meetings and appoint someone to act as Administrator to collect the community fees and keep proper accounting records etc. If however, it is not a community, as there are no common areas, then the laws stated above would not apply and it would run like you say, with just the neighbours communicating anything of common interest.


Poedoe said:
17 February 2016 @ 20:13

Grupo Apysur Clause 19.
States that the Minutes of each meeting will be written in the Minute book. Meeting Date Attendance List & Agenda of the Meeting.
Please could you tell me if the Community Administrator should provide a copy of the minutes, 2 weeks after AGM or EGM Meeting Date. I understood that ALL COMMUNITY MEMBERS SHOULD BE PROVIDED WITH A COPY.

The new community Administrator have not supplies any minutes for the last 4 years ?????



resortalia2 said:
18 February 2016 @ 10:08

Poedoe:It is obligatory for the Community's secretary to keep proper minutes of all meetings, which need to be kept in the official minute book of the Community of Owners. These must be made available for inspection by owners on request. Following an AGM, the Chairman and Secretary have 10 days to sign the minutes of the meeting and it is mandatory to send the minutes to the owners, in order to allow them to contest any of the decisions made.


barriep48 said:
08 December 2017 @ 18:02

Can someone please advise me, what is the minimum number of owners attending an AGM for it to begin.....thanks


Poedoe said:
08 December 2017 @ 19:45

If you are part of a community and pay community fees your administrator should be able to give you the information you need for the Annual General Meeting. This should keep the community members in touch and happy.


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