Community fees - Monthly service charges in arrears

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25 Sep 2012 13:49 by john1074 Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

 Hi, I am a virgin to all this so please be gentle with me.  I am in Mazarron and we have our AGM shortly.  We have considerable amounts of arrears on our complex and we need to gain payment of these arrears.

The frustrating part is that those people that owe so much are the ones that use and abuse all th facilities in the summer months.

I did read something on this site before I "joined" about companies who specialise in getting the money back etc.

Any guidance would be welcomed.




Angel (more an old goat really)

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25 Sep 2012 14:48 by Fighter2 Star rating. 237 posts Send private message

Hi Angel

We had similar problems at Mazarron Country Club and have solved them by a combination of efforts using a UK debt collector, owners who personally chase debtors every month old and new and the threatened withdrawal of services operated by the Community of Owners.

It's a long haul but can be done, the Spanish legal system is a joke so don't waste your time and effort there, who is your administrator?


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25 Sep 2012 15:07 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

I believe:- 

Your Administration should take court action after two payments have been missed.  So if you pay quarterly,  after 6 months.


The debtor is responsible for the costs as soon as action is commenced.

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18 Oct 2012 19:40 by hirsty3323 Star rating in Chesterfield. 1 posts Send private message

HI all,

There are only really 3 or 4 UK Companies that specialise in recovery of Community Fee Arrears. You can Google that phrase and they come up, or just look at the home page of Eye on Spain here. There is one with an advert on the right hand side about 2 or 3 down.

Hope it helps


Eoin Hirst UK Operations Director

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19 Oct 2012 08:14 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message


                  we are in Spain, why on earth would anyone want to us a UK company ?


The asset, the property is in Spain so the action THE ADMINSTRATOR would take would be against that property.

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19 Oct 2012 18:21 by nfm2862 Star rating in Welling, Kent & Al A.... 1461 posts Send private message

nfm2862´s avatar

The EU legislation is available to use, so why wouldn't a community use a UK based company that can get legal sanctions made against non payers far more quickly than the Spanish courts can?

The EU legislation takes into account the assets of the debtor in the UK ( or any other EU Country) so the fact that they have an asset in Spain may or may not be relevant.

I also believe that the statement regarding 2 months in arrears is incorrect. As I understand it, a decision to commence legal action has to be taken at an AGM & at the same time, the level of indebtedness that will trigger such action, is agreed.

John1074 - To answer your question, one such company is



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20 Oct 2012 09:37 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

I would be very surprised if an action for the non-payment of community fee could be taken anywhere other than in Spain I very doubt that any Court outside Spain would have jurisdiction
Quote from Horizontals Property Law

3. Territorial jurisdiction will correspond only to the Judge of the place where the property is, and the collecting through a lawyer or barrister is not compulsory, without any prejudice of what has been stated on the section 10 of this clause
Of course the recovery of a debt, following Spanish Court proceeding could be enforced in UK but why bother when the asset (the property) which can be destrained upon  is in Spain ?
                    I said, “Your Administration should take court action after two payments have been missed. So if you pay quarterly, after 6 months.”     I did not itemise what action the Admin would need to take, after two consecutive periods of non-payment,   in order to commence court action, as that is fully covered in the Horizontal Property Law, which you (NFM) can appraise yourself of. 

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20 Oct 2012 10:43 by nfm2862 Star rating in Welling, Kent & Al A.... 1461 posts Send private message

nfm2862´s avatar
Johnzx, it may surprise you but that doesn't"t mean that it can't be done.

There have been a number of comments on this forum where communities have used the EU legislation to pursue a Spanish debt in another EU country. The unfortunate aspect is that we cannot pursue debtors who are resident in Spain as the action has to be cross border.

Fighter2 has already said that his community has used this route & it is also being used by my community.

Perhaps Johnzx you could fully appraise yourself of that legislation.


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20 Oct 2012 11:30 by footiefeet Star rating. 19 posts Send private message

As mentioned above a number of communities have used the EU legislation to pursue a Spanish debt in another EU country.

I would recommend you contact lawyers (not debt collectors) who are experienced in this type of claim

D. R. Sheridan LLP has experience in helping port masters and community administrators in Spain recover debts on abandoned vessels by pursuing English boat owners in the UK and arrears of community charges on behalf of administrators and landlords

Many they have helped stated that the main problem in recovering debts is the lengthy and ultimately expensive process of pursuing debtors in Spain - an ordeal that can take up to seven years to complete.

For this reason, D. R. Sheridan LLP offers a friendly and professional service to overseas clients whether they be a port master, landlord or a community looking to recover unpaid fees by pursuing debtors through the English Courts.

Recent European Regulations have facilitated cross-border debt recovery, allowing D. R. Sheridan LLP to recover debt quickly and efficiently. If you would like some more information on cross-border debt recovery or are seeking to pursue a debtor please call our offices on 020 8950 6768 or email:

Please mention you saw this on forum Eye on Spain

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20 Oct 2012 13:12 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message


As I said debt recovery, after the debt has been legally established and a court order made, can be pursued in UK, but what part of;
                             Territorial jurisdiction will correspond only to the Judge of the place where the property is 
As defined by Spanish law,   are you having difficulty understanding ?
A simple analogy:
                                    A By Law in London cannot be prosecuted in Manchester, but once a London magistrate has imposed a fine, that can be enforced in Manchester,

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20 Oct 2012 14:37 by nfm2862 Star rating in Welling, Kent & Al A.... 1461 posts Send private message

nfm2862´s avatar

Johnzx it is you that would appear to be failing to understand & because you fail to understand does not excuse your rudeness.

The sentence that you keep repeating relates to proceeding to Spanish Law whereby the legal process must be undertaken in the same region as where the Property is located. So to put it simply, if you have a debt in relation to a Spanish property in Murcia region, you cannot pursue the debt through the courts of Malaga, for example.

The EU legislation is entirely separate & allows anyone who lives in a member state of the EU to be pursued for a debt in any other EU state. This action is progressed through the courts where a judgement is made & appropriate recovery action can then be taken. In respect of recovering community fees for a property in Spain, at no point does this process involve the Spanish legal system

Therefore Spanish Law or London By Laws have nothing to do with the process of the EU legislation.

Just because you cannot grasp that this legislation is available to be used, does not mean that you are correct or that the process is not available.

This message was last edited by nfm2862 on 20/10/2012.


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20 Oct 2012 14:58 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message


                     If you think that my clearly setting out what the Horizontal Property Law says is being rude, then I apologise, however, if I had intended to be rude there would have been no ambiguity.
I have been involved with the application of law in the UK for 30 years and now 25 years in Spain. It maybe that you have more professional experience than me, but from what you have posted that would seem unlikely.
Please have the last word.   I am sure that most readers will have got the point, so I will not post on the this thread again.

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20 Oct 2012 15:52 by nfm2862 Star rating in Welling, Kent & Al A.... 1461 posts Send private message

nfm2862´s avatar


I have had a look through some old emails & I have found a reference to the relevant legislation for the action that can be pursued through the provision of the EU legislation.

Regulation (EC) No.1896/2006 of the Europeean Parliament & of the council 12th December 2006 for creating a Europeean Order for Payment Procedure when collecting cross-border debts.

I trust that this information will point you in the right direction.

You are welcome to PM me if you require any further information.


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21 Oct 2012 22:20 by jacksonsadmin Star rating in Marbella , Malaga. 78 posts Send private message

Hello;  As a adminstrator in practice in Spain I can confirm the ability to collect community fees in the UK & most north European countries excepting Denmark.

The action needs to be confirmed in the county court writ  with a nota simpla stating the ownership of the property and also the minutes of the general assembly empowering the action.The process takes around 10 weeks to come to court in the UK.On judgement this can then be upgraded for collection by the high court enforcement officer ( sheriffs officer) and the recovery will normally include the community's action costs.

The system in Spain is much longer & expensive with ineffective results generally. The asset will need to be clear of any charges to obtain a effective first charge ( embargo) as after the first charge the security is not very valuable.To get to this point can  take several actions & several thousand in costs ( first action to proove the debt 1500€ , second action to obtain recovery of legal fees & then 3rd action to obtain a embargo ; these costs are variable but generally the same as the first action). To force sale of the asset the value of the embargo must be similar to the value of the property to persuade a judge into this desicion.

Hence if you the debtor is a north European resident it is more effective to persue in their country of residence.

I hope this helps.

F.Parkinson .Administradore


f.parkinson @

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22 Oct 2012 05:21 by 66d35 Star rating. 243 posts Send private message

Regulation (EC) No.1896/2006 is not necessarily that straightforward. It is only straightforward in the case of an uncontested debt or judgement. If the plaintiff raises a defence, or lodges what is called "A Statement of Opposition" within 30 days of service, then the European Payment Order process is automatically terminated and the matter reverts to a 'normal' civil case in the court of origin. So, although it may be effective in some cases, if you are chasing a debtor well-versed in civil proceedings, and who is not intimidated by the prospect of engaging in inventive delaying tactics and possibly indefinite appeals, it may not be as effective as it first appears.

One possible ground for opposition could arise under Article 22 of Council Regulation 44/2001 on jurisdiction which specifies cases where exlusive jurisdiction shall apply.

"proceedings which have as their object the validity of the constitution, the nullity or the dissolution of companies or other legal persons or associations of natural or legal persons, or of the validity of the decisions of their organs, the courts of the Member State in which the company, legal person or association has its seat. In order to determine that seat, the court shall apply its rules of private international law".

Many other examples could be cited. An objection to jurisdiction under (22) 44/2001 would revert the case to Spain, however.






This message was last edited by 66d35 on 22/10/2012.

This message was last edited by 66d35 on 22/10/2012.

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22 Oct 2012 20:10 by jacksonsadmin Star rating in Marbella , Malaga. 78 posts Send private message

66 -  Most interesting comment you make.

In the cases I have persued they have been uncontested & hence this situation has not been encountered.

Like any any legal case I have found that the evidence lodged has to be immaculate ; the proof of ownership, the copy minutes of the meeting authorising the action ( original signatures) and the certificate of the debt produced by our firm of chartered accountants.

Many thanks for your input.

F.Parkinson Administradore


f.parkinson @

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