Comunity Presidents and committees

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09 Sep 2015 19:15 by CostaBlade Star rating in Riviera. 115 posts Send private message

Hi all.

Can i just say that as a conciencuos serving president i am usually up to date on HPL (horizontal property law), but i am stumped on this one so i am hoping somebody with knowledge can answer my question.

 

Does a President have to except somebody onto his committee, so far i have worked solo along with our administrators for 4 years and made many improvements to our community, and all our owners commend me on my work - except One - who simply dosn´t like me - or i her.

Supposing she decided to go to our AGM and demand that she be "on my committee" even though we don´t have one, (nor do i want one, on the basis that committees get nothing done).

She would only want to be on the committee to try and stand in the way of any improvements that i may propose.

So my question is "do i have to have her working along side me objecting to everything and generally making life dificult for me in my duties as President"

I am excpecting some interesting responses - where is Maria  when i need her ? (only joking).

 

I have searched through HPL and so far found nothing that covers this subject.

 

Thanks in advance

 

 





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09 Sep 2015 19:43 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4509 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

My take on it: she can no more "demand" to be on a (as yet non-existent) committee, than you can demand to be re-elected as president. It comes down to a vote. The formation of such a committee would have to be proposed and voted on, and then the members proposed and voted onto the committee. If you and her are at loggerheads, and most of the other owners appreciate your galant efforts, it seems highly unlikely that she'll get much support.

We have a similar trouble maker in our community. She was forever interfering with the gardener (well, with his work anyway!), demanding that he do things her way, even though he already had his instructions from the president. A community cannot function like that, that's why a president is elected to represent the rest of the owners. In the last AGM, since I was due to take the reins as president (yet again), I publicly belittled & humiliated her and then insisted that it be recorded in the minutes that she is PROHIBITED from speaking directly with any community employees, and must go through the correct channels (i.e. me!) if she has any complaints. Not heard a peep from her since yes



_______________________

 

"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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09 Sep 2015 19:45 by acer Star rating. 1373 posts Send private message

Hi Costablade,

As you say the HPL is silent on the subject and therefore it is totally your choice. 

On the other hand you may want to bear in mind the old adage "keep your friends close and you enemies closer" IMHO it often makes perfect sense.



_______________________
You can fool some of the people all of the time…and those are the ones to focus on. Donald Trump.



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09 Sep 2015 20:07 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4509 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

I beg to differ: section 13 of the HPL covers this: "a majority resolution of the owners’ general assembly may establish other governing bodies of the community" - that is, other than president, vice president, & secretary/administrator. So if she wants in, she has to be voted in by a majority of those attending the meeting. It's not up to you, and it's certainly not up to her!



_______________________

 

"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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09 Sep 2015 20:27 by acer Star rating. 1373 posts Send private message

The clause is "other governing bodies" and surely this in intended to apply to siutuations where there is not a President eg a board of directors.

But never the less it is an interesting point, but even so I'm not sure that clause can be used to force a President to accept someone he doesn't want to be on his committee.  If he doesn't like it, he can walk away.  So I maintain my opinion, but I'll be interested to hear others.



_______________________
You can fool some of the people all of the time…and those are the ones to focus on. Donald Trump.



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09 Sep 2015 21:12 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4509 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

Not sure I understand what you're saying. The law establishes that there must be a president. Other "governing bodies" can be established if the community so wishes, but I've never heard of a community that has no president. A committee, or "board of directors" (we're talking communities here, not companies) can only be established by a majority vote by the owners (unless it's already established in the statutes). The clause could be used as you say "to force a President to accept someone he doesn't want to be on his committee", since it's not "his" committee, it's the community of owner's, and the president has to bow to the vote of the majority just the same as any other owner. Furthermore, he cannot just walk away, as you put it, if he doesn't agree with what the majority want. He is elected for one year, and can only rescind the position if a judge agrees that he has just cause.

All rather academic really, since it sounds like CostaBlade's nemesis is unlikely to get much of the vote anyway.



_______________________

 

"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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09 Sep 2015 22:20 by acer Star rating. 1373 posts Send private message

In this case CostaBlade has stated that he is already the President.  So if at the AGM he makes it clear that he will only accept renewal of his Presidency on the basis that he can veto people he does not wish to work with and has this entered in the minutes, this will keep him in control.  (I'm assuming that the community statutes do not require the President to complete a period of more than a year, which I believe is a rarity). 

But you are right that if he accepts a further term without condition, then subsequently this woman is also elected he may be lumbered, in theory.  In practice I have experience of a similar situation where the President refused the guy and his decision was not even questioned.



_______________________
You can fool some of the people all of the time…and those are the ones to focus on. Donald Trump.



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10 Sep 2015 17:28 by CostaBlade Star rating in Riviera. 115 posts Send private message

Thanks for some really interesting replies.

 

Sometimes i want to give up the job because of this "minority with a loud voice" but all the what i call "good owners" want me to stay and keep the reputation as one of the best communities in our area. They think without me at the helm (partly because we live here permanately) the community will go into decline as it was before i took on the job.

 

Anyway it could be a fun AGM this year, who´d be a President eh !!





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10 Sep 2015 19:44 by acer Star rating. 1373 posts Send private message

Sadly there are Jesse Norman's all over place (this is the spotty Tory MP/banker who made disparaging remarks about Paula Radcliffe's blood tests).  

They are always quick to jump in and criticise and invariably have no positive or helpful suggestions themselves.  But as you say you've got to take heart that the majority of folk are usually supportive. 



_______________________
You can fool some of the people all of the time…and those are the ones to focus on. Donald Trump.



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11 Sep 2015 13:57 by windtalker Star rating. 1680 posts Send private message

As a director of a company you must be invited to take up the post or voted in with a majority of votes from other share holders as a member/owner of a property on a housing development you are a share holder .





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11 Sep 2015 19:47 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4509 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

There are obvious similarities, of course, but even a company with a board of directors has a managing director, or chief executive or whatever? A community may have a committee (board) made up of elected members, but there still has to be a president (chief director). It's there in the HPL plain to see. I don't believe there exist "sutuations where there is not a President eg a board of directors".



_______________________

 

"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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12 Sep 2015 18:03 by acer Star rating. 1373 posts Send private message

Roberto, to my way of thinking the HPL is a very Spanish piece of legislation in that it is simplistic, a bit vague, but probably works well in most of Spain. 

But I know of several larger, mainly British, communities who have a notional President that complies with the HPL requirement but in practice the community is run by a group of people, a more British way of doing things - I think the locals still like the concept of dictators more than we do.



_______________________
You can fool some of the people all of the time…and those are the ones to focus on. Donald Trump.



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12 Sep 2015 19:51 by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1235 posts Send private message

In my days as a company director the guy from Grant Thornton's came to me and gave me a plethora of forms to sign, what was I supposed to do? We were an honest company and Grant Thornton's were as good as it gets in the world of accountancy. As for some ego tripper community chairman, I wouldn't sign or endorse anything, I would at least expect someone doing the job to be beyond reproach, does anyone check these guys credentials? 



_______________________

I'm Spartacus, well why not?




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13 Sep 2015 11:06 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4509 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

"a more British way of doing things" - interesting point. It's many years since I owned a flat in the UK, but as far as I remember, there was a professional management company that took care of everything. None of the owners in the complex had to do anything. Everybody paid their fees (naturally), it never occurred to me that the company might be corrupt or abusing us in any way, and everything was maintained satisfactorily. Once a year there was an AGM, at which the secretary (equivalent of the president, I suppose), an elected owner, confirmed that he had reviewed the accounts and every was in order. It was all very simple, straighforward and, well, civilized.

A large part of the problem here, IMHO, is that corruption at all levels of society is such an ingrained part of the culture that it is almost a given that the administrator (management company equivalent) is potentially corrupt and therefore the president's role is far more important. The other large part of the problem, then, is that the president (chairman of the board, call him what you like) is either also corrupt and in cahoots with the admin, or simply a layman with no knowledge, understanding - or credentials, to do the job. In my experience, even if you are lucky enough to have an honest admin, they don't actually want to do very much, and everything falls on the president, who is unpaid, unappreciated, and usually inexperienced and therefore unqualified to do what needs doing to keep a property running smoothly.



_______________________

 

"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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13 Sep 2015 11:27 by acer Star rating. 1373 posts Send private message

You must be joking!  To make it worse is that in my experience invariably no questions are even asked of prospective Presidential candidates.  The "electorate" tend to vote for their friends without even the vaguest thought as to if they can do the job. 

Thus we've had a mixed experience, the worst being a woman who did not have any business experience and fell out with virtually everyone and it cost us a lot of money.  Her intentions were good but she didn't realise that in can be a tough job where negotiating and people skills are important.



_______________________
You can fool some of the people all of the time…and those are the ones to focus on. Donald Trump.



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13 Sep 2015 12:15 by acer Star rating. 1373 posts Send private message

Roberto, my previous reply was to Hephaestus - the phone rang. 

But totally agree with your post.  IMHO a lot of the Brits just don't understand, some think it's some kind of prolonged social.  But to do the job properly you need to commit to overseeing every transaction - if it's a large urbanisation this means a massive amount of time, mostly laborious boring stuff.  If you don't basic office/computer skills you shouldn't have put your name forward in the first place.



_______________________
You can fool some of the people all of the time…and those are the ones to focus on. Donald Trump.



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13 Sep 2015 13:08 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4509 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

The idea of a "board" or committee makes sense, but only if all the committee members all pull their weight. Although we don't officially have a committee, in practice most community decisions are made by a small group of owners who live in our community permanently and bother attending meetings. The presidency has rotated between four of us for 11 years. In practice, however, I have almost always been at the forefront of community issues, whether it's my turn at the helm or not. Our defacto committee consists of: a nervous Swede who is too frightened to make a decision or spend any money; a Czech who wants to over-engineer everything and doesn't understand the concept of a budget; a Spaniard who is lazy and forgetful (but with good intentions), and a Brit who ends up doing everything (including policing the pool, much to my distaste - but somebody has to do it). If that makes me a dictator, so be it!



_______________________

 

"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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13 Sep 2015 13:43 by CostaBlade Star rating in Riviera. 115 posts Send private message

I agree with most of the above posts.

To be a President you need a lot of skill, people skills, accounting skills negotiation skills a clear head in a crisis and above all honesty and integrity.

For me, it has been Four years of hard slog, and a big learning curve ! now i am comfortable with running our community and have a good level of support, but it does get wareing and sometimes you (we) just crave to be in our detached house from the UK but living in Spain, community living has many benefits as you get older but you have to put up with the numpties you sometimes get as neighbours. I have put hours & hours & days & days into making our community one of the best in the area, but some people do not wish to see this, they only want what they want and to hell with all other owners, even if it is detrimental to the appearance or appeal of the community.

Back to being a President. I really believe that Presidents should be interviewed for the job (not sure by who though) and should have at least a business background, that would give them most of the skills required for the job.

As somebody has already said, most owners only come out for a few weeks a year and really couldn´t care less what the urbanisation looks like.

 

All in all it´s a tough job being a President but for the few that are dedicated i fear it is "our lot" and we carry on.

 





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14 Sep 2015 09:55 by SteveandJane Star rating in Somerset and Corvera.... 481 posts Send private message

SteveandJane´s avatar

As a 'President' , I believe I already have a dormant committee in the OWNERS within the Community. I have stipulated at every AGM that along with housing and the administrator, I shall deal with day-to-day running of the Community and it's needs and expenses (this is cosidered as accepted with my re-election). If however there are any 'NEW' outlays on any improvements or major expenses (such as we have just had astroturf layed around the pool area in place of grass) , there will be a costing and benefits report put to ALL owners and it would then be approved or rejected by a MAJORITY vote. I suppose you could call it a 'Democratic Dictatorship'. Whatever, it seems to work well (although we are only a small Community of 16 properties).



_______________________

 Steve (Lifestyler)




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14 Sep 2015 12:25 by CostaBlade Star rating in Riviera. 115 posts Send private message

Steveand jayne.

My thoughts exactly.

That is how i think communities should work, you have to rely on owners to see the work you do and not be swayed by the "behind your back" rumours. that are meant to destabalise a President and a community for their own selfish gains.

 

Unfortunately it dosn´t always work as it should

 


This message was last edited by CostaBlade on 14/09/2015.



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