Outrageous community and admin fees!

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29 Oct 2008 00:00 by TechNoApe Star rating in Duquesa, Manilva. 1278 posts Send private message

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Hi All,

I have been reading all the threads with interest in this section of the forum, especially those connected with 'community fees'.

Now we have a large Urb. in Duquesa consisting of 113 properties and guess how much we are currently being asked to pay per quarter?

771€

Yup!

That's 257€ per MONTH!

Our Administrator currently charges almost 13€ per month, per property and that is just for their fees! That's over 17.500€ per year!!!

We have tried to lower these community and admin fees, however we just had our AGM last week and have an Illegal President voted in, backed by the Administrators, with both the President and Administrators in the back pocket of the Developer!




This message was last edited by TechNoApe on 10/29/2008.

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29 Oct 2008 11:07 by Marksfish Star rating in Vera, Almeria. 2577 posts Send private message

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Wow that's horrendous . Our urb is about 120 properties considitng of 1 & 2 bed apartments and 3 bed duplexes. We have an outdoor swimming pool with children's splash pool, indoor heated swimming pool, nicely maintained community gardens and our fees (for a 1 bed) are €135 per quarter. I don't think anyone pays over €200 per quarter. Is your urb fully sold or is the developer trying to con you with increasing the fees because they haven't all been sold? I was under the impression that the builder was liable for the payment of all fees due on any unsold property?

Hope you get it sorted and they haven't got the figures the wrong way round! €71 per month may sound more feasible.

Mark



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29 Oct 2008 12:35 by Poppyseed Star rating. 898 posts Send private message

Our admin only fees in 06/07 when we had an adminstrator were 21,800, in 07/08 after the president sacked hm without calling an EGM or giving us a reason they went down to around 12,000, now in 08/09 they are going up again to 21,900 but we still don't have an adminstrator to pay. Our president has SOLE control of all money in and out.

Our urb has 230 properties, mainly 1-3 bed apartments but also 32 detached and semi detached villas. 89 apartments and 2 houses are still owned by the developer who rents them out. As he still owns so many he has a big vote on what goes on, always to his advantage. He kept ownership of the  2poolsb (one largish one and one small one)  and we pay him 44,000 euros pa to use them. There are no communal gardens to speak of, just a few planters and small flower beds here and there.

Current urb fees for a 3 bed detached villa are 1040 euros pa. Do we feel ripped off, absolutely. But the people who show  up for meetings always vote to accept this situation with the exception of a few hardy rebels!

Regards

Poppyseed

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29 Oct 2008 13:14 by irenemontague Star rating in liverpool/carvajal . 795 posts Send private message

Hi with prices like this for the c/charge you will never sell as who would pay them ?you need to get a new president sap and get all the owners involved bye irene



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29 Oct 2008 14:55 by Poppyseed Star rating. 898 posts Send private message

Hi Irene

The rebels have tried believe me.........we are now  almost personna non grata (or however you spell it!) The president is stirring things up with the poor gullible souls who must have more money than sense.

Regards,
Poppyseed

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29 Oct 2008 15:35 by irenemontague Star rating in liverpool/carvajal . 795 posts Send private message

Hi if you get enough people you can have a egm ?and yes they must have more money than sense get them to read eye of spain and see what others pay?bye irene



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29 Oct 2008 15:45 by Poppyseed Star rating. 898 posts Send private message

Hi Irene

Tried that too. But as a Liverpool girl myself I wont give up! There are several court cases on the go brought by Spanish owners so the struggle continues.

Regards, Poppyseed

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29 Oct 2008 16:57 by irenemontague Star rating in liverpool/carvajal . 795 posts Send private message

Hi good for you for not giving up so would i bye irene



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10 Nov 2008 18:22 by On a mission ! Star rating in Caleta de Fuste,Fuer.... 52 posts Send private message

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Hi folks

The fees you mention are ridiculous !!!

On my Community the cuota is 50 euros per month for 76 2 bed bungs and 77 euros for 3 very large 3 bed bungs with massive gardens !

Administration charge is 6 euros per house per month !!! This includes the AGM, with an extra charge of 200 euros for any EGM's !!

If you want to change things, you must gather support, no-one can achieve anything single-handed ! It's all about votes!!  You need to get 25% of the ownership with you before you can even call an EGM yourself !!

If you haven't seen it already, here's a link to my thread with a blow-by-blow account for how I got rid of a corrupt Administrator and President (who were brother and sister!!) and eventually got elected as President myself!!

http://www.eyeonspain.com/Secure/ForumPostsDesc.aspx?thread=5195&dev=FB34&name=Running%20a%20Community

Once you get started, you will find, as I did, that most of the owners are totally fed up with it all/ too frightened to speak out/ sat back waiting for someone else to do it , and the whole thing which seemed to be so impossible was, in fact, a complete walk-over!!!!

Come on ..........you can do it...................if I can do it, anyone can .................and I don't mind admitting to being 64 !!!

You just have to make the decision ................am I going to put up and shut up like everyone else ? ..................or am I going to get off my butt and do something to change it ?? !!!!

Go for it !!!!!

 



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11 Nov 2008 13:43 by abbbb1 Star rating in Essex and Ciudad Que.... 306 posts Send private message

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I've caught up with some of the past posts - and all I can say is "ouch"!!

Everyone on our community has been moaning about the high community charges - the houses are three bed and we pay €118 a quarter and the bungalows are two bedroomed and the owners pay just over  €90.

Think that we'd better keep our heads well down!!!



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20 Nov 2008 21:13 by conrad Star rating in Milton Keynes and Dr.... 298 posts Send private message

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ours consist of 142 properties of which 49 of them are quads the quads pay 243 per year





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14 Feb 2009 23:01 by Poppyseed Star rating. 898 posts Send private message

Below is an extract from the Horizontal Law. My question is does this mean an urbanization has to have a president, secretary and administrator? It goes on to say the administrator can be anyone suitably qualified and can combine this role with secretary. I ask because our president sacked the adminstrator mid term without calling an EGM and now covers all these roles themself. What does suitably qualified mean, are their recognised qualifications for adminstrators? We have around 230 'units', a mixture of villas and apartments.

I know someone on EOS will know!

I wanted to start a new thread for this but couldn't  fathom out how.....doh.........

Many thanks, Poppyseed

Section 13

1. The governing bodies of the community shall be the following:

a) The owners’ general assembly.

b) The president and, where applicable, the vice-presidents.

c) The secretary.

d) The administrator.



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16 Feb 2009 08:09 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9345 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

Provision 13.5. Of the Horizontal Property Act:

Secretary and Admnistrator´s functions will be exercised by the President, unless the Statutes or the Owners Meeting will decide those roles to be performed by someone else.  ( Added by Maria: Any change of what it was initially agreed needs to be done through GM)

Provision 13.6, second paragraph of same Act:

Administrator,  or administrator and secretary functions can be performed by any owner, as any individual with enough proffessional capacity and legally approved to develop those functions. It can also be developed by corporations or companies according to LAw.

( Added by Maria: yes, there is an official professional qualification to work as an Administrator).



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16 Feb 2009 14:49 by myra cecilia Star rating in Manilva Malaga. 213 posts Send private message

 

It is incredible how many complaints there are about how communities are run and the high costs that some are charging. Please wake up everybody. We are assisting quite a few people who are having similar and even worse problems. THE COMMUNITY IS YOU THE PROPERTY OWNERS. You are the ones that vote in your president, your administrator, your gardener etc. When I speak to owners I find myself continually repeating the same words “ do something, take action”  You are the bosses not the president, administrator or even Joe Blogs. You have the power. We all need to act to stamp out the ridiculous system that we have allowed to flourish.

 

Myra Cecilia



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16 Feb 2009 15:13 by Poppyseed Star rating. 898 posts Send private message

You are quite right Myra, unfortunately trying to rouse any sort of support from some people is like pulling teeth. The apathy is astonishing even when faced with things that are blatantly wrong, it will eventally come back  to haunt us.

Regards, Poppyseed


 



This message was last edited by Poppyseed on 2/16/2009.

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16 Feb 2009 18:58 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4537 posts Send private message

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Myra, you are of course right. Poppyseed, you too are correct.

The only way to get things done, is to do them yourself. Unfortunately this usually means volunteering for the unenviable position of president, and accepting all the cr@p that that entails. Invariably it means putting up with everyone else's moaning and critisising, coupled with their refusal to assist in any practical manner, giving up loads of your (unpaid and unappreciated) time whilst watching everyone else going about their daily lives without a care and with a total lack of responsibility or consideration for the welfare of their neighbours, and letting your stress levels reach dangerous new heights as you battle (in vain) the spectacular inefficiency and unprofessionalism of those who are supposed to be there to support you and serve you. (Administrators, suppliers, contractors etc.)

I have only experience of one "community" in the UK, when I owned and lived in a flat in a community of 24. There was a professional flat management company in charge of the day to day running of the community, and one owner as secretary (president) who was happy to approve the minutes / agenda / budget prepared annually by this competent organisation, and sign any cheques etc. as and when asked. The rest of us just lived our lives in blissfull ignorance of how, for a relatively small sum, the communal areas got cleaned and maintained, and as far as I know, there were never any problems, and I never even heard of any problems in other such communities - of which there are many, albeit maybe not as high a proportion of homes as here in Spain.

So WHY are community problems SUCH a big issue here? It's not just on forums such as this that you hear about it. It's everytime you talk to someone who lives in a community (Spanish as well as foreign). There must be "problem" communities in the UK? There must be "perfect" communities in Spain? Anybody heard of either, though?



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17 Feb 2009 07:00 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9345 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

There is no much culture of " caring for communal areas" in Spain. That is a question I keep asking myself... why is this? I remember discussing this with Susan and Justin in one of our family meetings.

Let´s keep improving things for the benefit of all... it is fun and enriching!

Maria



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18 Feb 2009 07:06 by deniseatnycs Star rating in Sol Golf Nr Villamar.... 136 posts Send private message

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Whilst agreeing in part with Myra and Poppyseed, I find it important not to tar us all with the same brush, and would like to be given the opportunity for readers to see the other side of the statement by Myra
 
 “THE COMMUNITY IS YOU THE PROPERTY OWNERS. You are the ones that vote in your president, your administrator, your gardener etc. When I speak to owners I find myself continually repeating the same words “ do something, take action”  You are the bosses not the president, administrator or even Joe Blogs. You have the power. We all need to act to stamp out the ridiculous system that we have allowed to flourish.”.
 
Roberto, as usual brings up some valid points, who else would do the job for no pay and little if any thanks! After spending the first warm day of the year, yesterday walking the Urbanisation picking up dog dirt and litter closing gates and fastening up meter cupboards I begin to wonder why every other owner fails to see this mess and potential future costs to the Community (the wind blows off the meter doors and gates that are not fastened).
 
Paying out in advance for Community items, as no Company will accept a Community check is also a problem, would any other owner dip into their pockets regularly to finance the Community I fear not. Queuing up in bank after bank to get the best interest rate for the Community reserve fund and then to the light shop for the special bulbs also takes time and effort that few think to consider. Yes we do have an Administrator, before anyone asks and a very good one at that but these are just a couple of things that are expected of a President and most of us do it without a thought myself included.
 
We are fortunate in that we have a decent Urbanisation with a relatively low Community fee of 300 euro per year. On our Committee we have a qualified electrician an accountant and a Secretary who all work throughout the year for nothing saving the Community funds.  Even so I get constantly questioned and verbally accosted (most recently when we were out for a meal) about how the Community money is spent and why.   What I do question is that the same owners who live in the U.K. (most of our apartments are holiday homes) never, ever, query where their Council Tax payments which in some cases run into thousands go! One of our owners has turned it into a personal vendetta and ruins for himself and his family any enjoyment that his stay in his holiday home should give him and I really do wonder why.
 
Fortunately, for us this owner is in the minority and despite minor hiccups our Community is going from strength to strength. Asked why we do the job, that is an easy one because without us and the likes of us all over Spain Urbanisations would be run into the ground and the prices of our homes would decrease even further than they have.
 
 Technoape, the original poster however, seems to have problems way outside the general ones on a Community and it would be good to know if he/she has solved them and if any advice on this site has been of any help.


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18 Feb 2009 10:14 by cashgary Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

Hi

We have a 3 Bed penthouse in Elviria.  Whilst we have a small 9 hole golf course, lifts, gardens, spa, 6 pools, gym etc I pay 1340 euros per quarter which at the current exchange rate equates to approx £100 per week!!!!

Obviously I/we are not happy with these costs but we are stuck with them and they do seriously put off purchasers.

On top of this, we have debts of approx 250,000 euros which the president is now taking action.  However, my concern is:

1) If/when the concerned properties are sold/auctioned to pay the bills, who will get first dip in any money, is it the cummunity, mortgage supplier, electricity or water? 

2) If the mortgage is more than the property is sold for, then there is no money to pay the comm fees.  As a result the community has spent a lot on legal fees and comes out with nothing.

It all seems like doom and gloom but surely the community can collaborate with morgage suppliers, utilities companies etc to ensure that we are not duplicating each others efforts and help guarentee we all come out with a share of the proceedings.  Am I talking "pie in the sky" stuff?

Comments, or better, sollutions are welcome to the above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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19 Feb 2009 00:09 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4537 posts Send private message

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Maria said: "There is not much culture of  caring for communal areas in Spain".

And Denise said: "owners who live in the U.K. .......never, ever, query where their Council Tax payment goes"

Both good points. Not many people in Spain query where their IBI (council tax) goes either, really, so why so much fuss about their community charge? I'm not entirely sure I agree with Maria, though, in the wider context, since many (most?) Spanish towns and villages seem to be very well kept - lots of flowers and neatly trimmed grass verges, and I think most here would agree that rubbish collection services are far superior to those in the UK. I personally would like to know why our council spends money on pretty (pretty pointless) water features on roundabouts and other out of the way places, instead of fixing the very serious flooding problem each time it rains hard. But that's just me.

Cashgary: interesting point also. I'm not sure what the answer is, but I imagine it's a case of first come first served. If you make a successful claim against a property through the courts, that claim should then be registered against the property (to prevent anyone selling it without revealing the debt) in the land registry. Claims are probably listed in the order in which they were made, and proceeds from any subsequent sale by the courts distributed accordingly. Perhaps maria can confirm if my guess is correct?

In reality, I think most people will stop paying their community charges before they default on their mortgage, (apparantly mobile phones are the last to go!) and utility companies will just disconnect and probably write off the loss.



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