In order to answer queries that our colleagues at Mediterráneo Property Administrators are often asked, today we want to explain in a bit more detail what are common elements for private use.
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What are common areas?
Article 396 of the Spanish Civil Code explains that common areas are those areas necessary for the proper use of the building in the Community, for example the entrance, stairs, lift, pool (if there is one) and passageways.
Common elements for private use
Common areas for exclusive or private use are those areas of the Community whose use, because of their location, is attributed to the owner of one flat or premises. The most common form of these common areas for private use are rooftop terraces or interior patios of the building.
The Horizontal Property Constitutional Deed or the unanimous agreement of all the owners who guarantee that, effectively, these communal elements are for the exclusive use of 1 owner. Here we are only talking about private use because we must remember that the right of ownership remains with the Community of Property Owners.
Problems in common areas of the Community
One of the most common disputes in Communities of Property Owners is the occupation of common areas which we have talked about in this article. What happens with common areas for private use? What problems may arise in these areas?
Repairing common elements for private use
The Community is responsible for repairing these areas, just like the common areas that are not for private use. However, it is important to take into account that everything depends on the cause of the problem.
According to article 9 of the Horizontal Property Law, each owner must: “Respect the general facilities of the Community and other common elements, whether for general or private use by any of the owners, whether or not they are included in their flat or premises, making appropriate use of them and at all times, avoiding causing damage or impairments.”
The same article also states that it is obligatory: “To maintain their own flat or premises and private installations in a good state of repair, so that no harm is caused to the community or other property owners, making good any damage produced by their own negligence or by that of other people for whom they are responsible.”
Taking all of this into account, any dampness that may be caused to a lower flat by the communal roof terrace of the Community (but for private use) must be repaired by the Community of Property Owners unless:
- The leak is due to incorrect maintenance of the area.
- The leak is due to works carried out without the permission of the Community.
It will always be necessary to obtain an expert report to solve the problem and determine the source of the dampness.
The importance of your Property Administrator for handling incidents
It is not unusual for differences to arise between neighbours when they are sharing spaces. Whether part of Mediterráneo or not, your Property Administrator is there to help you and provide a solution. If you are interested in hiring the services of Mediterráneo Property Administration for your Community of Property Owners click on this link and ask for a quote to suit you, with no obligation.
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