Who can be president of the Community of Property Owners?

Quién puede ser Presidente Comunidad Propietarios

All Communities of Property Owners have their own president. This individual represents the entire Community, with this position entailing a series of obligations and responsibilities. They may even be liable in a subsidiary civil manner in certain situations, meaning it is far from a straightforward task. For many, it can be an opportunity to help improve the building; for others, it can be nothing but a nuisance. But, who can be president of the Community of Property Owners? This article will analyse the role in detail.

Who can and who can’t hold the position of president?

Any individual who owns a property in the Community of Property Owners can become the president. Furthermore, in case there are any doubts, Article 13.2 of the Spanish Community Property Act states that the president shall be elected from among the property owners. Renters and third parties are therefore excluded and cannot be named president.

“Only a neighbour who owns a flat or premises within the Community can be named president”.

Am I obliged to be president of the community?

If you’re elected president, you’re obliged to occupy the position. The Spanish Community Property Act states that the elected person cannot refuse the position. This is because it is impossible for the position of president to become vacant, as the community would have no representative. However, it’s possible to avoid this through a judicial request for a change within a month following the appointment. That said, a justified cause must be provided.

Who can refuse to be president or is exempted?

There are various circumstances under which individuals can refuse to become president of the Community of Property Owners.

For professional reasons

Work may occasionally prevent us from fulfilling the role of president if we are regularly absent or have to travel a lot for work-related reasons. In these cases, we would be unable to fulfil our duties and responsibilities.

For illness

Illness or incapacity may be justifiable reasons for not serving as president of your Community of Property Owners. Said condition must be substantiated by a medical professional.

For age

The Spanish Community Property Act does not establish an age limit for fulfilling the role of president. Old age may prevent a person from being fully fit to hold the position of president.

For living in a property outside the Community

If the individual lives outside the Community, he/she will not be aware of what is going on or the needs of the property owners. As such, they are deemed unsuitable for the role of president.

These are the 4 circumstances that are often given for not assuming the role of president. Once you have been appointed, you will have one month to lodge an appeal against your appointment before the judge. This is set forth in article 13.2 of the Spanish Community Property Act. Furthermore, if it is impossible to choose a president, the Community can go to the judge.

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Is there a maximum age to be president of a community?

There is no legal limitation on the maximum age at which a person can be president. Despite this, older people may claim that they’re unable to hold the position. This may be the case if they’re not in good enough health or if they’re not of a sound mind. Naturally, in such a situation, the person wouldn’t be able to fulfil his or her responsibilities effectively.

Can a property owner’s child be president of the community?

The Spanish Community Property Act is very clear on this matter. The president of a community must be one of the co-owners of a dwelling. This rule also applies to the naming of the vice-president of the community of property owners. Therefore, sons or daughters of property owners cannot assume the position unless they own some private element of the community. Kinship or a family relationship is therefore not enough to assume the position of president.

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Can a non-property owner be president of the community?

Article 13 of the Spanish Community Property Act states that: “The president is appointed from among the owners, by election or, alternatively, by rotation, or by the drawing of lots”. Regardless of how this is done, it is made clear that the president must be a property owner. Therefore, tenants in rental properties or third parties residing in the building couldn’t be elected.

Despite this, case law has evolved over the years. At first, appointing a non-owner as president was considered null and void. Nowadays, it has come to be understood that this invalidity is relative, although, if the situation arises, you could challenge the election within one year.

Do you have to be president if you don’t live in the community?

Yes. The rationale stems from Article 13, which we’ve already mentioned. The position of president is compulsory, so a non-resident would have to hold it. Even if you don’t live on the premises, you’re still an owner, meaning that you belong to the community and can be elected. Such a situation can occur when the owners’ meeting draws lots or rotates the position.

When a person is elected who doesn’t live in the community, it’s possible to challenge the process. Nevertheless, not living in the community isn’t usually considered an obstacle in this regard. Most judges believe that it’s possible to carry out the functions and fulfil the responsibilities of the position.

Now you’re a little more familiar with the figure of the president of the community. Given its importance, it’s only natural that the law prevents the position from being easily relinquished. Otherwise, few tenants would be willing to assume the responsibilities and if this were to happen, the rest of the owners would have a problem as they wouldn’t have a representative.

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