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What to do with a Defaulting Neighbour?

A delinquent neighbour is considered to be an owner who is not up to date with his payments to the Community. The debt can correspond to both ordinary expenses and extraordinary expenses that have been approved by the Community and are payable to the neighbours of the same. Article 9, section e) of the Horizontal Property Law reflects that each and every one of the owners must pay the common expenses, necessary for the proper maintenance of the property and its services, by means of a fee which is normally monthly, according to their share of participation.

The defaulter can attend the meetings of the Community, but cannot vote or challenge the agreements of the same before the judge.

The Community will deliver notices to the address of the defaulter informing him of the debt. As a last resort, the Community can publish it on the notice board or in a visible place where it will remain for three calendar days.

- The Meeting of Owners must:

Agree by majority vote whether to make a legal claim through a judicial process for the fees owed. If it is agreed to make a claim, the President or Administrator must be authorised to do so.

Approve the amount of debt owed, and therefore, the amount to be claimed, and if expenses such as photocopies, letters with acknowledgement of receipt, etc. are to be claimed.

  • It is usual for the Board of Owners to authorise the President, or the Administrator, to engage the services of a lawyer to process the claim. The claim will have to detail the property, premises or garage in question, as the property may have been sold and in this case the claim would be made against the owner of the property in the year of the debt.

  • Notify all the owners of the Agreement of the Meeting.

  • - The president or the administrator must present the claim to the Court, taking into account the following points:

  • Provide the certificate of the agreement of the Meeting of Owners where it is empowered for such a claim. This certificate must be signed by the Secretary or, failing this, by the President.

  • Claim, if it has been agreed at the Meeting, the expenses generated to claim the debt from the owner, providing invoices or proof of said expenses.

  • Claim the interest that may arise, and the costs of the Judgment.

  • Claim the expenses arising from the hiring of the legal services of a lawyer and solicitor.

  • Ask the judge for the preventive seizure of the owner's assets to cover the debt claimed, the interest and the costs of the trial.

- Finally, the judge will issue the corresponding sentence once the claim has been filed.

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