Information about the statutes of the homeowners' association

statutes of the community of owners
Published on: 28 October 2023

Table of contents

Surely, if you have just bought a property or if you have become the president of the community of owners, you have had doubts about the statutes of this. We, as expert lawyers in real estate law, are going to provide you with all the information you need to know about them.

Is it compulsory for a community of owners to have statutes?

This is one of the most frequent doubts that owners have. On many occasions, when it comes to undertaking a reform or carrying out an activity that may affect the façade or the common areas, they wish to consult them to find out whether they can carry it out or not.

However, the law does not make it compulsory for a community to have bylaws, i.e. they do not have to exist. Therefore, it has to be considered as something voluntary and drafted by mutual agreement between the parties.

What are the statutes of homeowners' associations?

The statute of a community of owners is understood to be a document that the owners of the dwellings and commercial premises of a property must necessarily adhere to, as it specifies their rights and obligations. You should be aware that there is no basic model and that it must be drawn up and accepted by mutual agreement.

The difference between statutes and titles

What the Horizontal Property Law does foresee is that all communities of owners must have a constitutive title. This has led, on many occasions, to confusion between the two concepts. However, they are not related to each other.

The title deed of the community of owners is simply a document in which the characteristics of the building as a whole are detailed, that is to say, taking into account the commercial premises that it may house and the flats. Thanks to it, the share of participation that each owner owns is established.

Occasionally, a number of legal exercises, rules of incorporation and other provisions not prohibited by law may be added to the title deeds in order to avoid confusion and cohabitation problems. This means that, in some cases, this document can act as a statute.

The drafting of the statutes of the community of property owners

The Horizontal Property Law does not provide anything on this matter. However, it is advisable to seek the services of a property administrator in order to give it greater validity and to ensure long-term compliance.

This professional will draw them up based on the expectations that are expected to be met in the present and the future and the specific needs of the community in question. Once completed, they will be presented at an Extraordinary Meeting, which must proceed to unanimous approval. As soon as the agreement of all the owners has been obtained, it will be registered in the Land Registry, where it will be attached to the corresponding deeds.

What happens if the articles of association are not registered in the Land Registry?

This is a more common case than it may seem and, at times, quite tricky. The reason lies in the fact that, if the bylaws are not registered in the Land Registry, the obligation to comply with them only affects the owners who agreed to them at the time, not the new owners. This means that if, for example, one owner sells his property to another, the new owner does not have to comply with them.

Are the community statutes and the coexistence rules document synonymous?

The answer is no. Generally, once the statutes of the community of owners are established, a set of rules of coexistence is usually attached, but it is not compulsory. In fact, the existence of one is not linked to the existence of the other.

Where can I find the statutes of the community of owners?

More and more buyers are demanding that, at the time of signing the purchase contract and together with the title deeds of the property they are acquiring, their statutes are added, as long as the community has them. In this way, there is the guarantee that, at the moment of moving into the property, the provisions of the articles of association are perfectly known.

However, there is no legal obligation to do so. So how do you get them? It is very simple. All you need to do is talk to the property administrator in charge of managing the building or to the president of the community of owners. Both are obliged to inform the new owner. In addition, they should also inform the new owner if there are any rules or coexistence rules that have also been approved at the meeting.

Can the statutes be amended?

Yes, but in order to do so, it will be necessary to comply with the same requirements as for its constitution. This means that the property administrator or the president of the community must call an extraordinary meeting, present the points to be modified and request the unanimous approval of all the owners. Afterwards, in the event that these are registered in the Land Registry, the relevant changes must be registered in this body.

Is the same true for the rules of coexistence?

No. Neither to establish nor to modify the rules of coexistence of a community of neighbours is it necessary to call an extraordinary meeting, that is to say, it is sufficient to agree on it in an ordinary meeting. Furthermore, unanimity is not required either. It is sufficient to reach agreement, by simple majority, for them to be valid and applicable.

Is there freedom of drafting in the statutes of homeowners' associations?

Only relatively. The Horizontal Property Law states that it is the owners who must reach an agreement for the drafting and approval of the corresponding community statutes. However, it also states that under no circumstances may they contain any provisions that are contrary to what is specified therein. Contrary to what happens with other regulations, there is no freedom of agreement that can be superimposed on this legal text.

Where is everything related to the statutes of homeowners' associations listed?

If, at this point, you still have any doubts regarding the statutes of the communities of owners, as well as the rules of coexistence or the constitutive titles, you only have to take a look at articles 5, 6 and 17 of the Horizontal Property Law. They contain all the regulations related to these documents.

In short, the statutes of homeowners' associations often generate a lot of controversy and conflicts between neighbours, especially when one of the houses is sold and new owners arrive. For this reason, it is important that you remember what we have told you here and that, if necessary, the building is placed in the hands of a property administrator, who will always be the figure who will act as an intermediary and who will resolve the problems based on what has been approved at the meeting.

We hope that we have resolved any doubts you may have had regarding the statutes of the community of owners and that we have been useful to you. If you need to know more, just contact us and we will help you.


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