Living in a community can be rather complex, potentially leading some down a path of frustration if they are unfamiliar with certain legal aspects or basic rules of cohabitation. In today’s article, we provide tips to make living in a property owners’ community easier.
Índice de contenidos
- 1 Laws for Living Among Neighbours
- 2 Cohabitation Rules in a Community of Neighbours
- 3 Respecting Common Areas
- 4 Respecting Rest Hours
- 5 Rules for Pets
- 6 Community Fees
- 7 Role of the President
- 8 Damage or Defects
- 9 Constructive Attitude and Dialogue
- 10 Conflict Among Neighbours
- 11 Horizontal Property Law
- 12 Constitutive Title
- 13 Community Statutes
- 14 Regulation or internal rules
- 15 What happens if something is approved in the community with which I do not agree?
- 16 What are the advantages of having a Property Administrator?
Laws for Living Among Neighbours
Cohabitation rules in a community of neighbours are essential for anyone wishing to live peacefully in their own home. On many occasions, maintaining pleasant cohabitation isn’t always simple: neighbours who water plants and stain your terrace, slamming doors in the early hours, rubbish bags left in the hallways… Given the countless conflicts that can arise in a block of flats, we must adhere to minimum behaviour standards.
Cohabitation Rules in a Community of Neighbours
Living in a community involves making concessions and altering habits. Each owner has their ideas and learned behaviour patterns, and often these may clash. Regardless of your upbringing, there are guidelines you must adhere to when you share a space with others. Otherwise, conflict will be a daily occurrence.
Just as there are imposed rules for good cohabitation in your home, there should be neighbourly rules in the building. Rules that, of course, must always comply with current legislation.
But, in addition to rules, good cohabitation requires other factors. Do the residents have rights? Is there good communication among you? To be fully civilised, one needs to consider a range of issues covering many aspects.
Respecting Common Areas
Common areas are often a contentious issue, as they are the shared spaces between you and your neighbours. Leaving rubbish in the hallway, cluttering corridors with bicycles or scooters, using the parking space as storage… There are countless situations that can become delicate if not handled diplomely.
Common areas belong to all residents; precisely for this reason, they should not be treated as private property.
Respecting Rest Hours
Who hasn’t had home renovations at some point? Moving furniture, drilling holes, playing the television too loud… These are small gestures you have likely made. You have done them and endured them. Therefore, knowing how unpleasant they are, try to avoid them as much as possible.
If you are undertaking renovations or need to arrange your new furniture, always try to respect pre-established rest hours. This rule is one of the most commonly breached and one of the main causes of cohabitation problems.
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It’s important to avoid loud noises after meals and, above all, at night. During the day, you have the right to make noise, listen to music or even sing. But if you want a pleasant atmosphere without grudges in your neighbourhood, use empathy and put yourself in the shoes of others. Would you like to be constantly hearing those same noises?
If you have no alternative and need to make these annoying noises, a kind gesture is to warn your neighbours in advance. They will still have to endure them, but you will have demonstrated good ownership.
Rules for Pets
It’s increasingly common to find pets in flats, whether they’re dogs, cats, parrots, snakes… Regardless, all owners must take responsibility for their pets both inside and outside the home. Avoiding barking or your pet defecating in common areas is your responsibility.
Also, before moving in, ask the community if pets are allowed to avoid problems later.
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All owners in the building must shoulder the relevant community fee. This maintains the block in good condition, provides a surplus for possible unforeseen circumstances, etc. Failing to pay this fee or contributions will only cause you problems with the other owners. Is there someone in your community who doesn’t pay? How do the rest of the neighbours feel about that tenant? The answer is clear.
Additionally, keep in mind that the community can sue you to assume this acquired responsibility.
Role of the President
The president of the community has the power to ask a neighbour to cease an activity that may be disturbing to other residents. They can also demand the payment of debts (through diplomatic or legal means) and call owners’ meetings to discuss certain topics.
However, although the president is a mandatory figure according to the Law of Horizontal Property, they are not the police of the community. Their functions aim to foster a more or less harmonious community, which does not imply that they have to resolve all conflicts. Their judgement, while it may be decisive in certain matters, cannot prevail over the rest of the neighbours’.
Damage or Defects
Damage and defects caused by a neighbour must be rectified by them or their insurance. Depending on the damage, the community’s own insurance may cover it.
Constructive Attitude and Dialogue
Attitude is the most important thing. We know that cohabitation is never easy, but if you maintain a constructive attitude towards conflict, it will be resolved much more satisfactorily. Bear in mind that your neighbours are part of your life; you will encounter them countless times during your stay in the block. Therefore, the more you encourage dialogue and conversation, the more comfortable it will be for everyone.
Conflict Among Neighbours
Discussing matters and rationalising possible solutions is indispensable for all parties involved. Attending neighbourhood meetings to resolve controversies is worth it not only when they affect you.
ommon elements or because we have a premises in a development, for example. In all cases and to have a good coexistence we must adhere to the rules that regulate our community of owners that are collected, in the first instance, in the Horizontal Property Law or LPH, in the Constitutive Title, in the Statutes and in the Internal Rules, these last three must always respect the Horizontal Property Law.
Next, we briefly summarize what each one regulates.
Horizontal Property Law
It regulates the maintenance of common goods, the rights and obligations of each owner or the rules of action of the board of neighbors, etc… Thanks to this law, property administrators are able to resolve many of the conflicts that arise between neighbors.
The Constitutive Title is the deed through which horizontal property is formalized. This deed contains the participation quota of all the properties of the building. It specifies if a common element is of common use or private and who is responsible for its repair in case of damage. It also serves to modify the use of a property or check what limitations exist.
They are of voluntary nature so it may be that your community does not have statutes. They have to be written by mutual agreement between the owners and always following and respecting what the Horizontal Property Law says. They compile the obligations, rights and prohibitions in the scope of the community. They also include rules on insurance, repairs and building conservation. It is very useful for establishing rights such as what elements are common or which are only for certain owners. If you want to include something in the statutes, it must be approved unanimously. You can consult them in the deed of sale, ask them from the president or your property administrator.
Regulation or internal rules
Also, on a voluntary basis, there may be internal rules defined by your community of neighbors to regulate the details of coexistence and the proper use of services and common things. For example, the operating hours of the pool or tennis court; the garbage collection schedule or the use of other common services. If you want to change or modify an internal rule, with which you do not agree, you can do so at the board of owners. To get it approved you will need the agreement of the majority.
You should know that although the approval of the statutes and internal rules are not mandatory, they offer the advantage that the owners know what to expect at all times, contributing to a more orderly coexistence.
How can I choose the best suppliers? Talk to your property manager so that, depending on the action you want to take, they provide you with several budgets and you can evaluate the best option based on quality and price. With a good agreement, with professional companies, you will be able to reduce the budgets of your community and the monthly fee that each owner has to pay.
The administrator and the president must have approved the budgets where the relationship of foreseeable expenses and income to be made throughout the year is reflected.
At Mediterráneo we bet on our Miserv platform, which will allow you to ask for several budgets for each reform or breakdown.
What happens if something is approved in the community with which I do not agree?
You can claim in the following cases:
When what has been approved is contrary to the Law or to the Statutes of the community of owners. For example, if in a case of those that requires unanimity it is approved with the vote against one of the comuneros, etc.) You will have a year to challenge it.
When they seriously harm the interests of the community itself for the benefit of one or several owners. For example, if it were agreed at an owners’ meeting that one of the comuneros would be exempt from paying any community expense, regardless of what his participation quota was). The action of challenge will expire in three months.
When they cause serious harm to some owner who does not have a legal obligation to endure it or they have been adopted with abuse of right. For example, the Statutes authorize that professions such as medical consultation or law office can be exercised in a building. It would be an abuse of right that the board of owners did not authorize the realization of some works aimed at adapting the medical consultation with the installation of a machine, and without this causing objective harm to the other owners.
Requirements established by the Horizontal Property Law to challenge the agreements
Only the owner of the property will be able to legally challenge an agreement, never a tenant.
Those who had voted negatively at the Meeting, which must be recorded in the Minutes, along with the identification of the comunero who voted against, those absent for any reason and those who improperly had been deprived of their right to vote.
In addition, it must be up to date in the payment of all ordinary and extraordinary fees or possible outstanding debts with the community.
What are the advantages of having a Property Administrator?
There are many advantages to having a property administrator. It saves you time in drafting or reviewing all the documents your community needs. It legally advises you, keeps your accounting avoiding paperwork, manages suppliers and public grants. Without a doubt, it is the biggest support for the president and your community.