Community fees - expected to pay more!

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29 Aug 2008 00:00 by lasiesta Star rating in Costa del Sol. 58 posts Send private message


I hope someone may be able to give me some advice.

One of my clients has approached me saying that their community are trying to make them pay extra because the community has debts because other owners haven't paid their fees. My clients pay approximately 500 euros a quarter on their community fees which is debited directly from their bank account. They have not missed any payments and are up to date.

About a week or so ago they received a letter (in the UK) to say that the community had held a meeting (which they hadn't been informed of) and that they wanted them to pay 2 additional payments of nearly 198 euros each to help clear the community's debts. They were told that they would be paid back but it didn't say when. My clients didn't wish to pay this because they had paid their own fees and didn't see why they should have to pay extra when others have paid nothing. They explained to me that it would be an additional cost that they couldn't really afford at the moment and also they had not been notified of any meeting to discuss this. They were just about to write back to the community explaining that they didn't wish to pay it when they checked their bank account and realised that the community had already taken a payment of 198 euros. 

My clients are not happy with this and have asked me what they should do. They wondered if, when their next fees are due, if they can debit this amount from it? Can they asked their bank to claim this money back?

I just wondered if anyone else had experienced this or knew of where they would stand legally on this issue? If it were me I wouldn't be too happy paying someone elses fees!!

Any advice given is much appreciated.

Many thanks

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29 Aug 2008 16:24 by Poppyseed Star rating. 892 posts Send private message

If they contact their bank I think they can recall the payment, not sure of the time limit but I know Deutche bank did it for us with a payment for something we didn't want to make. It is unfair to have to pay for non payers, the community should take court action against them. In the meantime i suppose the bills have to be paid.



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29 Aug 2008 16:58 by Patty_1 Star rating in Hertfordshire. UK. .... 1064 posts Send private message

I did not know they could do that, I thought the administrator had to call a meeting, but if you have people not paying they should be sent a court letter and get charged extra interest.   But 500 euros a quarter seems a lot their must be a lot to mantain.                                                    Pat 



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29 Aug 2008 17:12 by Marksfish Star rating in Sandy, Bedfordshire/.... 2413 posts Send private message

Marksfish´s avatar
I've just climbed down from the roof after seeing those fees . You can recall a direct debit, not sure on the timescale though, it is within 7 days in the UK. Do they get a discount for paying by DD? I pay mine 1/4ly by cheque so they can't "grab" when/ if they feel like it. I know "extras" can be asked for by the community, but doesn't it have to be agreed at the AGM?



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29 Aug 2008 17:22 by semijubilada Star rating in London/Torrevieja. 1052 posts Send private message

If it was paid by direct debit you have 30 days to querry the transaction.

We have had debtors on our community since I bought in 2003, it takes a long time to get back the monies owed.  It sounds straightforward but in practice it isn't.

I'd write to the president and tell them that I cannot afford to pay any increase in fees at this time.

Perhaps they are already running on a shoestring budget and this was the only way they could see to get around the problem.  Even so there must be other ways that they could have used to keep within the budget, some communities shut the pool down early .

To raise the fees by 20% without informing anyone that they were even thinking doing this is unacceptable.

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29 Aug 2008 17:46 by tinto. Star rating in Scotland & Nr Estepo.... 243 posts Send private message

tinto.´s avatar

We have had a similar problem which is costing an extra 175 euros a month the cause a combination of overspend by the previous administrators and non payments, although it was agreed at he AGM.

On another note having just looked at my Halifax bank account I notice that 2 x 3 euros have been debited for  "CARGO CUOTA TARJETA" can someone please translate.

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29 Aug 2008 18:07 by semijubilada Star rating in London/Torrevieja. 1052 posts Send private message

Your debit cards?  I know Targeta means card and they offered me a debit card 3e but I declined it as I only don't draw funds out of my account.

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29 Aug 2008 18:22 by sandra Star rating in . 771 posts Send private message

sandra´s avatar
 Hi Tinto,


Could it be a charge for using/holding your credit/bank card?

Babelfish gives the following translation:-

Google gives:-

Loading quota card

and for just the words:-

CUOTA     and   Cargo
Google gives:-

Contributions   and  Charges







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29 Aug 2008 19:14 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3874 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar
It just means the charge (quarterly?) for your card (debit or credit). There's no such thing as free banking here, and it seems that although Halifax are known to NOT make bank charges, they'll still get you for "extras" like cards. 

lasiesta, it's curious that your client received the letter telling them about the extra payment, but never received notification or agenda for the meeting when it was discussed, and presumably voted on. Communities are not obliged legally to send any correspondence abroad, unless it has been decided otherwise in a previous meeting, but if they can send a letter about this extra charge after the event, why did they not send notification of the meeting before? Bit of a communication problem that needs sorting, I think.

As for getting the payment back, or deducting the amount form their next quota, if it was in fact voted on and agreed upon in a legitimate meeting (for which there must be minutes detailing this decision), then not paying it would make your client a non-payer, and would subsequently mean they will lose their right to vote in any future meeting on this or any other matter, so if they can weather the storm this time, it would probably be best to do so.

It's definitely not right that those who pay should subsidise those who don't, even if it is temporary, but sometimes the alternative is that the community deteriorates as bills go unpaid and maintenance gets neglected, so in the long run, it may be the only way to protect the value of your property.



"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain




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29 Aug 2008 19:57 by irenemontague Star rating in liverpool/carvajal . 794 posts Send private message

HI i was told if the community wants to do somethink that cost more than 3 times your monthly c/charge you can refuse is this correct or not thanks irene

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29 Aug 2008 19:58 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3874 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar
Never heard that one, but would have to study the Horizontal law in detail.



"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain




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29 Aug 2008 20:12 by irenemontague Star rating in liverpool/carvajal . 794 posts Send private message

HI my friend said this and i am sure she said its in the horizontal law i just thought she was right but i did not check it out?bye irene

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29 Aug 2008 22:26 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3874 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar
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".

This is probably the bit you are refering to. The previous subsection refers to "new installations, facilities, services or improvements not required for the correct maintenance, habitation, safety and accessibility of the building".

This is a little ambiguous, to say the least, but my interpretation is that if a vote has been taken to spend more than 3 times the normal monthly budget on something not considered absolutely necessary, you can refuse to participate - but by doing so, you also forfeit your right to benefit from the improvement. It's a bit hard to think of an example, but I suppose if the community had agreed to spend more than 3x the monthly budget on, say, sun loungers for the pool, and you refused to pay your share, you would not be allowed to use the new sun loungers!

Were you asking for a reason? Would be interesting to know.



"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain




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29 Aug 2008 22:45 by irenemontague Star rating in liverpool/carvajal . 794 posts Send private message

HI roberto i new you would  have the answer but i do like that carnt use the sun beds thanks irene

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