Can they put a surcharge? Community fee questions in Spain

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David Searl and his book, ‘YOU AND THE LAW IN SPAIN’

Question:
Further to your reply in the EWN of 23-29 April stating that Spanish community law prohibits communities of property owners from placing surcharges for late payment of community fees, could you please direct me to the section of the horizontal law where this appears?
B.M. (by email)

Answer:
No, I cannot. This is because the law itself neither prohibits nor empowers communities to levy surcharges. The law only says that the community can deprive the debtor of the right to vote in the AGM and can go to court against him to recover the debt. So it becomes a matter of what the judges say. For many years, the Spanish courts when challenged ruled that the community could not levy surcharges on the debtors or forbid them the use of services such as the swimming pool. That is why I said that surcharges were forbidden. In recent years, however, some courts have begun to rule that surcharges may be acceptable if they are written into the original statutes of the community. So the answer to your question depends on what the court rules in your specific case.




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