Horizontal Property Act - Part 5

Published on 06/03/2007 in Your Spanish Home

Click here for part 1 in the series of these articles.

Click here for part 2 in the series of these articles.

Click here for part 3 in the series of these articles.

Click here for part 4 in the series of these articles.


Attendance to the general meeting can be made in person or by a solicitor or a lawyer. You can also grant power of attorney to someone else, just by signing an authorisation.
If any apartment or premise belongs undivided (“pro indiviso”) (jointly) to  different owners, they should name a person to  represent them and vote  at the meeting.

The owners who are not up-to-date with payments to the Community when this starts, (and they have not opposed those debts or have not made a judicial or notary deposit of the due amount), are allowed to deliberate but will not have the right to vote.
The minutes of the meeting need to mention those private owners who have been deprived of their right to vote, their votes will not be taken into account to reach the necessary majority for agreements.

The General Meeting of owners must be held at least once a year in order to approve the budget and accounts and also in every occasion when the president considers it as suitable, or  when  it is requested by a quarter of the owners or  by a number of them which , at least, represents 25 % of the community. 

The announcement of the general meeting must be made by the President and, in his absence, by the promoters of the meeting, by making a list of the subjects to be discussed and by choosing date and time to be held in first and in second call.

The announcement must contain a list of the owners who are not up-to-date with payments to the Community and a warning of their deprivation of the right to vote.

Any owner can ask the General Meeting to study or discuss on any subject of interest to the Community; to do so, it must present a document, identifying those subjects considered of general interest to the President, who must include them in the order of the day of the following meeting to be celebrated.  

If the quorum is not reached at first call, those owners who represent, in their turn, the majority of the shares can make a second call, which will be held without any quorum.

The General Meeting must be held  in second call in the place, date and time which was mentioned in first citation, and it can be held just half an hour after the failed first call.  Generally, both calls are included in the same citation.

The citation for the annual General Meeting must be done at least 6 days in advance and, in case of extraordinary meetings, the sooner for all the interested parties to know about it.

The General Meeting can be held even without the call of the President, if the owners decide it.


The agreements of the General Meeting are submitted to, inter alia, the following rules:

Unanimity is just required for approving or modifying the rules contained in the constitutive title of horizontal property or in the statutes of the Community.

The establishment or suppression of the services of the lift, porter’s lodge porter’s office, security and any other common service of general interest, even when this implies the modification of the constitutive title or the statutes, does not require unanimity, it just requires the favourable vote of three fifths of the total of the owners that, also, represent the three fifths of the shares.           
The realization of works or the establishment of new common services intended to suppress architectural obstacles that make difficult the access or mobility of disabled persons, even when it implies the modification of the constitutive title or the statutes, do not require unanimity, but the favourable vote of the majority of the owners, that at the same time, represent the majority of the shares.

The vote of those absent owners to a General Meeting, once they have been duly cited and informed by those owners who are present, and have not disagreed in writing to the Secretary within a period of 30 days from the date the decisions have been communicated to them by the rest of the owners, will be considered as favourable to the agreement.

The agreements adopted in valid form are obligatory to all the owners.

The installation of common substructures for the access to telecommunication services (collective antennas, digital television, etc), or the adaptation of those already existing as well as the installation of solar energy or any else of the necessary substructure to access to new collective energy supplies (natural gas, electricity, etc) can be decided, at the request of any owner, with the favourable vote of just one third of the owners who also represent, one third of the shares.

The Community will can not charge the costs of the installation or adaptation of those common substructures, not even for maintenance, on those owners who have not expressly voted in favour of that agreement.

Nevertheless, if they later require the access to telecommunication services or to energy supplies, and this implies for them to make use of the new substructure or the adaptation made, they can be authorized always they pay the amount that had duly corresponded to them, by the application of the correspondent legal interest.

It is just necessary the vote of the majority of the owners who also represent the majority of the shares for the validity for any other sort of agreement.

At the second call, those agreements adopted by the majority of the present owners, are valid if they also represent, more than the half of the present shares.

When the majority can not be reached by the procedures established in the previous paragraph, it can passed to the Judge of First Instance to decide regarding that.


Written by: Maria de Castro

About the author:

Maria de Castro is a Spanish Lawyer and the Director of the Law Firm www.costaluzlawyers.es.

Costa Luz Lawyers are contract and consumer real estate law specialists covering all parts of Spain. You can contact Maria at mldecastro@costaluzlawyers.es

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Robert Nash said:
10 November 2011 @ 11:28

I have read that a community member on request can see any documention to do with the running of the community, is this correct?

Also our recent meeting was held on 28-9-2011, unsigned minutes arrived by email on 3-11-2011. Your article says minutes no later than 10 days after the meeting. What action can I take against the President/Administration. Is it possible to request another meeting?

Ray Charley said:
05 September 2010 @ 15:56

Can a vote duly passed unanimously be rescinded the following year by persons just because they are not in favour eventually and after expense has been caused, by adding a vote again on the subject to the agenda.

bazraldo said:
03 June 2007 @ 14:00

What would be the legal interpretation of the following. Horizontal Properties Act, section 17, third paragraph, second sentence. Where a meeting is convened on the second call and assuming the 'value of quotas' condition is met, can the proxy vote be used to over-rule the result of the vote of those present?
Thank you, bazraldo.

Terry-W said:
27 March 2007 @ 19:10

What can be done about owners who don't pay the community charge.

Roberto said:
22 March 2007 @ 23:13

sandmcauser, Maria will no doubt answer your question when she reads it, but meanwhile, I will do my best.
The President must be an owner of a property in the community, and ideally resident there also, so I'm not sure of the validity of a "representative" of the developer - I suppose if the individual is a legal representative of the company that would count. As for lack of volunteers, the law states that a president will be elected by a simple drawing of lots in this case. Every owner is obliged to take a turn, although in practice this is unlikely to happen. As I said before, the president should ideally be someone living in the community, as there would be little point having an absentee president. Hope this helps. Read my articles "A Year In The Life Of the President" and then decide if you want to volunteer!

sandmcauser said:
22 March 2007 @ 08:22

The information on the voting parameters for certain items were useful.

One aspect that i would like an answer to is what happens if no one wants to be elected as President of the Community. In our Community at the moment, the President is a representative for the developer as there are currently unsold apartments. However, this will change in the near future and none of the owners seem to be volunteering.

Thank you,

Martin ans Sue Causer

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