Q. We live in a gated Community on the Costa del Sol, with 160 apartments, 10 of which are operated by a timeshare company. In effect, each apartment has 52 different owners. Over years of not paying community fees they have built up a debt of €50,000, which they refuse to pay. Each time they are taken to court on an apartment, they change the name of the owner. Our various Presidents and Administrators seem to have got nowhere in court actions. Is this common in Spain? Is there a legal way to solve the problem?
K.B. (Costa del Sol)
A. Yes, non-paying members of Communities of Property Owners have become all too frequent in Spain as a result of the recession. Unfortunately, many timeshare companies are among them. And, yes, there is a legal way to recover these debts.
First, each apartment does not have 52 different owners. All 10 of your timeshare flats have one owner: the timeshare company. The individuals hold contracts with the company to use the flat for a week or two weeks, but the company is the owner. So your Community must proceed against the real owner, who is a member of the Community, to recover the debt.
Your Administrator and President surely are aware of this, so perhaps something has been left out of the story.