Community charges..... non-payers....direct action?

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04 Jun 2007 00:00 by promedia Star rating in Cheshire/Riviera del.... 126 posts Send private message

As a community of 3 years we now have a bad debt situation totalling just under 50K euros'. this is made up of some late payers who we know will cough up, but we do have 8 residents out of 60 who owe a full year still and 3 who it appears have never made a payment.

we are charging interst on these sums and hopefully in time we will get the money back if the apartment is sold, however legal action appears to be a waste of time with numerouse communities relatuing stories of years and years of time and expenditure to win and then still not get the money.

We suggested at our last AGM that the water to these apartments that the community pay for as a combined bill be turned off making the apartment inhabitable. our administrators mumbled something about this being illegal and that they would have to look into it, 12 months on we are still no further and the debt has increased.

Has anyone else experienced such direct action to resolve the matter and did it work, are there any other neat tricks the community can do to get these parasites to pay up??

intersted to hear any comments and success stories.



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05 Jun 2007 16:29 by Karensun Star rating in Orihuela Costa. 1476 posts Send private message

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Put a post re. this subject on General chat as that was the one I read first !!

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01 Sep 2007 13:50 by bluefox Star rating. 50 posts Send private message

we have the very same problem in our complex in fuerteventura, but in our case the complex was an ex holiday complex, and the owner's decided to sell off the unit's ,  like yours we are three year's old, but the origanal owner's still have a number of unit's unsold, and hav'nt paid a single cent community, even tho' at time's they have been rented out, with them and numerous buyer's who hav'nt paid either, our outstanding deb t's amount to almost €170,000, with the complex being about fifteen year's old we have been in the process of giving it a big face lift, seem's we are just about keeping our head's above water, but for only these lowlives who decide to skip the community fee's, you can emagine how far our complex would be, thought's of cutting water and or elecs.... also crossed our mind's, but for spanish law.......... ! their cases are in the hand's of a lawyer and apparently going to be heard in the court's sometime this month, so we'll have to keep all our finger's and maybe our toe's crossed and wait for the outcome. you were saying more than a year down the line and nothing solved? hope thing's go a little quicker in fuerte. we will live in hope.  bluefox.   



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01 Sep 2007 14:37 by morerosado Star rating in Guardamar del Segura.... 6942 posts Send private message

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"Put a post re. this subject on General chat as that was the one I read first !!"

God Karen, please don't encourage those who do post in correct threads to post in General Chat.  I'm forever trying to help with redirections & links to correct boards where the posts won't get lost, like they do in General Chat.


Thanks to Ian for posting in  Running a Community 



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01 Sep 2007 14:44 by Karensun Star rating in Orihuela Costa. 1476 posts Send private message

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Morerosado, I posted that back in early June !!!

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01 Sep 2007 14:54 by morerosado Star rating in Guardamar del Segura.... 6942 posts Send private message

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OOOOOOPS  Karen   .......... I was so engrossed with reading whole thread which had been resurrected. Missed seeing that as we were in Spain in June.

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01 Sep 2007 14:58 by Karensun Star rating in Orihuela Costa. 1476 posts Send private message

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        love the penguins!!

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04 Oct 2007 08:24 by plexx Star rating in Hertfordshire & Elvi.... 131 posts Send private message

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Bluefox,
What are you hoping to achieve at court? An order for the owners to pay up? Do you think they could forfeit their properties if you are granted an order and they still don't pay? (we hear stories like this with non payment of taxes etc) .





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04 Oct 2007 09:08 by tinto. Star rating in Scotland & Nr Estepo.... 243 posts Send private message

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Our community which still has some unsold property is run by solicitors at the moment who called an EGM last week to get authority to sue owners who are overdue with their charges. Looking at the list it seems that the people overdue are ones that bought as an investment as some have two lot of charges in their name.



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04 Oct 2007 10:03 by Karensun Star rating in Orihuela Costa. 1476 posts Send private message

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Hi, we have several owners who have never paid a penny in Community fees. They are in the process of cort proceedings. This action takes a very long time in Spain as the judicial system here gives the debtor EVERY chance to make recompence........far longer than would occur in England. Having said that, the end when it comes is swift. In our own case, we have a final hearing date and the cases will ( as stated by the judge ) be heard in the debtors absence ( some have not turned up to court previously thinking to delay proceedings ) and sentenced accordingly. There is no excuse here for non payment of Community fees, especially when the chance to make recompense has been given over a considerable period.

During the waiting period, the courts have traced assetts ( in Spain ) of the debtor and the end result would be an embargo on their goods, which includes their apartment, which will then be sold to repay the debts and accrued costs, which will be considerable.

If only these people had thought about this from the start..............we all know we have to pay Community fees, it is a way of life in Spain, and at least one of our debtors is Spanish so there is no excuse!!



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04 Oct 2007 13:18 by plexx Star rating in Hertfordshire & Elvi.... 131 posts Send private message

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It's nice to know that accrued costs (and presumably interest?) are taken into account.  But I suppose some rogue 'investors'  , as referred to by tinto, who have inflated bank valuations and hence 100+% mortgages will not have any Spanish assets and will get away with it.



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13 Oct 2007 11:03 by bluefox Star rating. 50 posts Send private message

not to sure if i asked this one before, but has anyone heard of a property or asset's being taken from none community payer's, i think we all slowly begin to realise and understand the power of community law (us from u.k. and ireland) then there is still alot that don't. we have just hired a new lawyer to sort our cases, and according to him they could be finalised within a month, or take up to the next twelve month's, it's entirely up to the judge on the day, the sooner the better for us.



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22 Jan 2008 16:55 by liz Elford Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

We are a small community of 63 apartments, two of which have yet to be sold. Our first payment was due in June of last year and the second in December, we have at least 16 apartments yet to pay their first installment. The only thought we have is to change the locks to the communal area which includes the swimming pool and bbq area to stop those who havent paid using it. any suggestions?



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22 Jan 2008 17:06 by morerosado Star rating in Guardamar del Segura.... 6942 posts Send private message

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Over to Karensun & Roberto.

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22 Jan 2008 17:13 by Karensun Star rating in Orihuela Costa. 1476 posts Send private message

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Liz, if you do that then those owners, paid or not can sue the Community and or the Presidente.

Your only recourse is to Law and it is a lengthy process that has to be agreed at your next AGM or EGM, without this Community majority agreement you can do nothing except possibly get your administrator to write to the debtors.

BUT, the Law states that you cannot with hold any Community benifits.



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22 Jan 2008 17:31 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3871 posts Send private message

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16 out of 63 is a pretty significant amount, and more than 6 months overdue too. Your community cannot hope to function properly with such debts. As Karen says, your only recourse is through the law, which takes a pretty grim view of non-payers of community charges. Your administrator should have already sent out  letters to the offending parties, explaning that legal action will be taken if they do not pay up. If there is still no result, then you must instruct the administrator to proceed with legal action. Ultimately, the owner's property can be confiscated and auctioned to cover the debt. Hopefully it won't come to that. In most instances, bad payers simply prefer to keep their money in their own dirty paws as long as possible, stupidly not thinking that by doing so they are only serving to damage their own community and therefore their own investment, but faced with legal action will probably cough up.

To try to encourage owners to pay on time in future, I suggest implementing a system which we have. Increase all quotas by 25%, and then offer a 20% discount to all members who pay by standing order, or who pay within the first 15 days of each payment period. Those who pay on time will therefore still pay the same amount, but any late payers will find themselves with an even bigger debt. It's a simple and not uncommon system for your administrator to introduce. We voted to implement this system at our last AGM, and lo and behold, every last one of the perpetual late payers now pay on time!



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22 Jan 2008 18:30 by Karensun Star rating in Orihuela Costa. 1476 posts Send private message

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We got sick of the whole thing Roberto. What we agreed last AGM was if fees not paid by end of month following when they are due....add20%.....if not paid by end of following month, add 300€.............if we have to send Burofax for start of court proceedings.......add 700€.

This means we can go to court straight away as amount owing is over 300€ and then it's no cost to the Community.

As you say, the courts take strong views about not paying Comm Fees and although it takes a long time to get it sorted it is very very likely that the court will find against the debtor and punish the offender quite likely by putting an embargo on their property and ultimalely selling it by auction.

However, I think Liz's Urb will need to get some moneys in to keep the Community functional, perhaps their administrator can advise how to do this.



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22 Jan 2008 18:41 by morerosado Star rating in Guardamar del Segura.... 6942 posts Send private message

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I'd like to commend Karensun & Roberto for all their endless advice on community problems ?



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22 Jan 2008 19:02 by liz Elford Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

Thanks for your advice all, I only wish I was in Spain full time and could be more active as its frustrating only being able to correspond through e mails. Our neighbour suggested the discount incentive which may encourage early payment, fingers crossed!



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22 Jan 2008 23:22 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3871 posts Send private message

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"I only wish I was in Spain full time and could be more active"

VOTE FOR LIZ!

LIZ FOR PRESIDENT!

(and Morerosado for VP!)



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