EGM and who can vote

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05 Mar 2012 00:00 by Zena143 Star rating. 22 posts Send private message

I have been reading the thread on the community and EGMs and my question is based on the following information.  25% of us have called an EGM (to be heard in April) to discuss an item on our February 2012 AGM's agenda that a spanish only TVaerial on our roof was going to be installed at everyone's expense (piped down to each individual apartment and costing 7500 euros) and that as soon as this was completed, all those with satellite dishes and aerials were to take them down.  I strongly opposed this at the AGM as being illegal but stated I could not prove it at that time.   My argument was that all the foreignors in the building were being asked to pay for spanish only TV and then having done this forced to take down their only means of watching TV in their own language.

After the meeting I then read the Royal Decree 1/1998 27th February and David Searl's book and realised that anyone who voted at a meeting on this item to refuse to pay it was legally entitled to, and furthermore if the community on request had not erected a satellite dish for the community (or any one member)  within three months of said request then we were all entitled to put our satellite dishes back up again.  (last count was approx 20). 

To understand what is a majority vote at this EGM on this point, I wondered if all those cuotas for garages, storage rooms and the locals (we have a bank, an estate agent and a hire car firm) have to pay anyway ?  Or in law are they automatically excluded from this kind of purchase as it has no relevance to them.  I am confident that every garage and storage room is not owned by any of the apartment owners but rather outsiders (don't ask me how that state of affairs occurred).

Can anybody assist me on this, and correct me if anything I have stated is wrong?

Zena 143


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05 Mar 2012 17:04 by Poppyseed Star rating. 893 posts Send private message

Everybody who pays and is up to date with their community fees is entitled to vote, but each vote has a cuota, some may have a bigger cuota than others which is why the cuotas as well as votes have to be counted. Eg a bigger apartment may have a higher community fee and therefore a bigger cuota,  just a garage may have a smaller cuota, someone owning multiple units only has one vote but multiple cuotas.



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05 Mar 2012 17:20 by Zena143 Star rating. 22 posts Send private message

Thank you Poppyseed for your reply, however, I need to know if the person paying the small cuota for their garage parking space has to pay his co-efficiency for the TV installation, as he can hardly watch TV in his parking bay - equally would the bank with its very large co-efficiency be expected to pay for the installation when again they are not going to want to instal a TV in the bank? 

The balance in our  community is roughly 60/40 and if we were able to exclude all the co-efficiencies for the locals and the parking spaces etc because they do not have to pay at all for these works, would actually put us in a majority position if this came to the vote - or any other vote we asked for at this EGM.    Hence my question on whether they have to pay for something they will never use?

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05 Mar 2012 17:53 by nitram Star rating. 124 posts Send private message

In this case it's  Irrespective if somebody is going to watch Spanish TV or not, I think you will find the law (Spanish) states that you must provide communication I.e. TV coverage.
Could you not  agree that those who want Spanish TV have individual areas and ALL residence pay towards this, this will cut down your costs, especially when you can get at least 4 connections of a LNB  Ariel 

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05 Mar 2012 18:24 by Poppyseed Star rating. 893 posts Send private message

Why don't all those who wont use it or don't want it just vote against it by either attending the meeting themselves or giving their proxy vote to someone? 



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05 Mar 2012 19:26 by REIDPJ Star rating. 239 posts Send private message

Section 17 of the HPA:


The installation of the common infrastructures providing access to telecommunication services regulated in the royal decree law 1/1998, of 27th February, or the adaptation of existing ones, as well as the installation of solar energy supply systems, whether common or private, and infrastructures necessary to access to the new collective energy supply systems may be agreed at the request of any one unit owner by a third of the members of the community representing a third of the assessment quotas.

The community shall not charge unit owners who did not vote in favour of the resolution for the cost of installation or adaptation of the said common infrastructures or those derived from its upkeep and maintenance. However, should they subsequently request access to telecommunication services or energy supply systems, and this required using the new infrastructures or the adaptation of the existing ones, they may be authorised against payment of the amount that would have corresponded to them, duly updated with the application of the legal interest rate.





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06 Mar 2012 07:17 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 4883 posts Send private message

When I had my Sky satellite dish installed about 10 years I had intended that it should be put on my ample terrace, however, the installer said that under EU law everyone has a right to receive the news in their own language and thus the community, regardless of any statutes could not prevent the erection of a dish.  He put it on the roof.  I live on the top floor.  There are now seven dishes and I have put a four way LMB on my dish and share it with three others, to reduce the unsightly dishes required.


A couple pf years ago a friend who renting put a small dish on the outside wall of her rented apartment. The Administrator told her it had to be removed. I visited the administrator and told him of the EU law.  The dish is still there and there have been no more letters.


I don’t know for sure  that Directive exists, but my community and my friend’s admin clearly believe it does,.


RE communial charges.

 In addition to my apartment I have a lock up garage (local) on the ground floor of another apartment block.  I do not pay for repairs, improvements etc to the internal things like the lifts, repainting inside corridors, stair, pool (to which I have no right to use)  etc.,  but I do pay when they repaint or repair the exterior of the block.





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06 Mar 2012 10:33 by Zena143 Star rating. 22 posts Send private message

Thank you all for your replies, especially John, I would point out that you can, on line, get the Royal Decree 1/1998 27th February both in english and spanish and read as a whole and then concentrating particularly on Section 9, third paragraph, that is your right given by Royal Decree to affix a satellite dish to the outside of your terrace/balcony if there is no communal satellite dish available (having given notice in writing you would like one erected and allowing three months to elapse from that request).

I just cannot understand why this decree which is 14 years old is not well known to Europeans and makes me wonder if something has over ruled it since - though I have searched high and low for such a point.

I also note that John says internally he pays for nothing re his co-efficiency for the garage space, but the aerial will be an external fixture that is going to be piped down the walls to all apartments, does that make him liable then or any of our community who just own storage rooms, garage spaces and locals?

I hope someone knows the answer to this?


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06 Mar 2012 14:23 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9001 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

 HPA does not make difference between apartments, garage or storage owners for the sake of validating votes.

If the meeting has been legally called and the 1/3 reached, the only way to challenge the agreement is through provision 18 of the HPA:

Section 18 

1. The resolutions of the general assembly may be challenged in court, in accordance with the 
provisions of the general procedural law, in the following cases: 
 a) where such resolutions are contrary to the law or to the community statutes; 
 b) where they are seriously detrimental to the interests of the community and benefit one or several 
unit owners. 
 c) where they are seriously detrimental to some unit owner who has not the legal obligation to sustain 
such detriment or where they have been adopted in abuse of power. 
2. Unit owners who expressed and recorded a dissenting vote at the meeting, those who were absent 
for any reason and those who were illegally deprived of their right to vote shall be entitled to challenge 
these resolutions. In order to challenge a resolution, a unit owner must have satisfied all community fees 
due or, alternatively, must have consigned them in court before proceeding. This rule shall not apply where 
the resolution challenged regards the establishment or alteration of owners’ assessment quotas, as provided 
in section 9. 
3. The action shall prescribe three months after the adoption of the resolution by the general assembly 
or one year in the case of resolutions contrary to the law or the community statutes. For unit owners not 
present at that meeting the three-month term shall begin to count from the date of notification of the 
resolution pursuant to the provisions of section 9. 
4. Where a resolution of the general assembly is challenged in court, its implementation shall not be 
suspended, unless the judge, at the plaintiff’s request and having heard the community, so resolves as a 
precautionary measure.


Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA



El blog de Maria

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06 Mar 2012 15:17 by Zena143 Star rating. 22 posts Send private message

Dear Maria

Thank you for your most informative answer but I am still not sure of the answer to my question.  I realise that everyone has a coefficiency which entitles them to vote and majority rules on financial matters - however, when it comes to telecommunications it appears that a community member can refuse to pay his or her share on the grounds they will not use this facility.  (I know later they can change their mind and what happens if they do financially)

That being the case, if you only have a coefficiency for a parking space, you would hardly go and sit in that space and watch a TV wired into the proposed communal TV - so do you have to register  a not paying vote at the meeting or is it taken to be accepted that you cannot use the TV , will not be able to use the TV, therefore you do not have to vote for, or against, the TV, because it just does not apply to your 'bit' of the community cuota?

Or must you - even with a parking space - still cast your vote and still at the meeting say no I do not intend to pay for this TV?

Maria it would be very much appreciated if you could answer that question please?



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06 Mar 2012 15:31 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9001 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

You need to go and dissent and then challenge the agreement in Courts.It is possible this is against the Statutes of the Community of owner and if not, it is possible that the statutes of the community of owners need to be reformed.

I completely agree with the consideration that garage or storage owners should never pay for this and therefore their votes and quotas should not be taken into acopunt.


Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA



El blog de Maria

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10 Mar 2012 07:52 by dnicholson Star rating. 24 posts Send private message

I think owners can not refuse to pay unless the change is considered as an improvement and that the cost to the individual owner does not exceed 3 months charges.

Section 11.

2.         Where resolutions are validly adopted to carry out improvements that may not be imposed in accordance with the provisions of the last preceding subsection and whose cost of installation exceed the ordinary common expenses for three months, dissenters shall not be bound, nor their fee modified, even where they cannot be deprived of the improvement or benefit.
If dissenters wish at any time to take advantage of the benefits of the innovation, they shall have to share in the cost of installation and maintenance, duly updated by application of the legal interest rate.

We had a similar situation. some of our Spanish owners fell into the category of their individual cost being more than 3 months cuotas and refused to pay however this was a small proportion.

Hope this helps.

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12 Mar 2012 10:42 by jeffsears Star rating. 34 posts Send private message

It would be interesting to establish what constitutes an 'improvement'.

Our community consists solely of a 4 x 8 m swimming pool in an enclosed garden. Because many owners are absent the expenditure is controlled by a few. The maintenance of the pool has cost €55.000,00 in 42 months and shows little chance of being reduced. Cash payments are made without any documentary evidence.

It seems that the Horizontal Laws make it easy for a few to control a swimming pool for their benefit. Notices of meetings are not distributed to all houses. All protests are ignored. 

It should be mandatory that all members have to confirm that they have received notification and that all votes are made in writing and not just a show of hands with many people voting twice or proxy votes only being in valid if they are in favour of what the controlling clique wants.

If only there was a way of leaving a community without having to sell up. There are no common areas such as stairwells, lifts etc so why should people be forced to pay for a facility that is only utilised by a few. I was under the misaprehension when I bought the house that the community was to look after the neighborhood not just a tiny swimming pool. Now others can just dip their hands in my pocket topay for their personal pleasure.  

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12 Mar 2012 12:32 by dnicholson Star rating. 24 posts Send private message

Sad state of affairs but unfortunately a common enough story. A few individuals control an entire community.

Re "Improvement" If what you have is fit for purpose then changing it is an improvement. (For example if you have an adequate perimeter fence but would like to pull it down and build a wall then that is an improvement)

If the wall is falling down and you repair it that is not an improvement.

If you have one pool and wish to build another it's an improvement and so on and so forth.

The Horizontal Laws are very specific about who should contribute ~ everyone in line with the their coefficient. regardless of whether they use the facilities or not.

There is nothing that you as an individual can do except to challenge the minutes when you receive them. The minutes should document the names of owners at the meeting. It should document the names of those participating by proxy and the proxies names who are representing them. The way they vote is not disclosed to the meeting, just the result.

Legally you must be advised of and invited to an AG meeting giving details of the previous years spending. For convenience we break it into about 10 groups but any owner has the right to request and receive fully detailed accounts. There are certain mandatory subjects on the invitation.

1.   Agreement of previous meeting minutes
2.     Agreement and closing of accounts for 2011                                                         
3.     Approval of Debtors list and legal measures  
4.     Election of a President and Administrator.
5.     Agreement of budget and community fees for 2012.

Of course if the president or administrator doesn't follow the law and lies then you can do very little except challenge them in court.

If you know like mind individuals and your discussions with the president have failed then, with the support of sufficient owners you can call an EGM and force changes that are voted for by the majority.

In our community I (as President) make as sure as I possibly can that everone is aware of the meeting and it's content. Where email exists I use that and request a read receipt. In the case of proposals by owners these are explained in detail. I make it as simple as possible for owners who are not attending to vote by using google forms and those without email are sent a full package by mail.

We are a mixed Spanish and English speaking (25/75) and everything is sent in both languages.

Having said this out of 230 owners we rarely get more than 35% participation at a meeting.

And as a matter of interest we have 3 pools, 1 200m2, 1 120m2 and 1 paddling pool. Our annual maintenance is €3500 (excluding life guard) so you should reqest a breakdown of the last few years expenses.

If you want samples of the google forms let me know.


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12 Mar 2012 13:34 by Zena143 Star rating. 22 posts Send private message

I am obviously quite new to Communities and Meetings and the Horizontal Law - hence my request for help that started off this posting, however, my understanding of an 'improvement' is that if it involves expenditure of more than 3 months of the normal community fees then a community member can refuse to pay for it if he does this at the time of the AGM where it was proposed or within 30 days of the Minutes being published.  (See Section 11 of the HPA) and furthermore, as I have written, if it is communications that are being improved/reformed then you still have a right to refuse no matter what the cost is whether it is 3 months or one month community fee being requested. (Section 17 - Second).

I am not sure why you think in your posting that everyone does have to pay?

Also as a President have you any information you can give me regarding whether I can make a valid request that (a) I have either the addresses of all community owners to send a letter discussing an upcoming EGM and why I have called it? or whether I have a 'right' (statute/law ??) to address and stamp 75 envelopes with my correspondence inside and ask the Administrator to provide the full addresses and send them off on my behalf?

I want to learn as much as possible before this EGM so any more insight you have would be most appreciated.




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12 Mar 2012 14:28 by dnicholson Star rating. 24 posts Send private message

Hi I will look into it more deeply but logically what is the point in having a meeting to decide something by a majority if a minority can "opt out" because it's too expensive? It throws the total costings for the project out and is against the democratic principal that the laws are based on.

Of course there are exceptions as we discussed (Handicap assistance, improvements etc) but I don't think communications (I take it you mean SKY) are covered by negative legislation. I think you have a right to receive TV in your own language and the community has to allow you to install a dish OR provide an area where you can install a dish (If community rules prevent you from installing on your roof or terrace or whatever)

If you have a meeting and vote for something, generally a simple majority wins. It's binding on everyone.

You can not obtain the personal details of other owners unless you are administrator or president under data protection laws.

I don't know about asking the administrator to send on your behalf. I'll ask but if he's against it he probably will just say no.

You could try starting up a google group and request that in the invitation to the AGM the administrator publishes the group address. You could put it forward as a proposal rather than a request to be discussed at the AGM. It would almost certain to be passed and the address could be published in the minutes as well. This would enable interested parties to have their say. I believe EOS have community forums as well.

You could simply write your letter and push it under everyones door. Not expeditious for remote owners but eventually they will receive. You could put a notice on the community notice board inviting people to contact you.

Will look up the other points you make, I don't want to mislead.

Regards David

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12 Mar 2012 15:06 by jeffsears Star rating. 34 posts Send private message

I agree that the Horizontal Laws are based on democratic lines. The laws are necessary to ensure that all part owners of a common property e.g. a block of flats are forced to pay their share of the general maintenance. In a block of flats you have to share use of common areas such as entrances, stairs, lifts etc.

When the laws are applied to a something that you can choose to use or not use then it is undemocratic not to allow members to leave the community. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but knowing what I know now would have stopped me from buying a house which is attached to a community. Is it reasonable to join a golf club only to later find out that you could never leave and would have to pay the fees for life.

My current fees of €200 per year are not insignificant in the current climate as they would almost cover my IBI. In four years I have had one swim in a pool that is too small to dive in and two strokes gets you from one end to the other. €800 for one dip!

There must be a way of bringing this nonsense to an end.


This message was last edited by jeffsears on 12/03/2012.

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12 Mar 2012 18:57 by dnicholson Star rating. 24 posts Send private message


I have looked at section 11 and have no reason to change my opinion.

I have looked at section 17 and the pertinent law (link above) and frankly don't understand it in total but your interpretation seems to be more or less right.

I think you need to speak to someone with more knowledge than I have and explain in detail your difficulty (I guess you are looking to install a Sky system) ~ I don't believe you can be prevented from doing this but the cost sharing is a grey area.

The secret is have a majority of owners behind you and you have the power.

Why not put yourself forward as President?

Jeff ~ I can't agree with your logic. If you join a Gym or golf club and don't use then why join.

If you buy a house in a community you presumably bought it because you liked the facilities that went with it. Once purchased you can't pick and choose or opt out. If you buy a house outside a community with a nice garden and pool then it costs you to maintain it?

The correct route is become involved. Ask why the pool maintenance is so high. So many communities fail because the owners don't care or get involved and let a few smarter or more cunning  owners decide everything.

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12 Mar 2012 23:01 by jeffsears Star rating. 34 posts Send private message

Dnicholson, I don't follow your logic. If I join a golf club it is because I might think I will like to play golf. If I then find out that it is not to my liking I can leave without having to sell my house.

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