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Report on community of owners properties

HORIZONTAL DIVISION IN SPANISH URBANISATIONS

Horizontal Division in Urbanizations means that the land where the different houses from the urbanization are placed belongs to all the owners “in common”.

This Horizontal Division is a way used in urbanizations and buildings where the different owners own the 100 % from their houses and “in community” the land of the urbanization.

So, the land in which houses are placed is considered “communal” areas, and usually used to have different community areas like communal pools, sport areas, green areas, communal roads, etc.

Sometimes, owners of urbanizations use to have some part of land of their own use. For example, the house and the garden, or the private pool. This land is considered then as “private land” or “land of private/exclusive use” from each one of the owners.

So, it in these kind of urbanizations, owners have the 100 % from their houses and apartments, and a percentage of collaboration in the maintenance expenses of the “community areas” (such as repairing, reform, cleaning, etc), and a “exclusive use” from the piece of land that has been agreed to be used privately from each one of the owners.

As “owners in community” owners may decide to pass all the “community” areas to “exclusive use”, dividing the use of the communal areas for the exclusive use of each one of the owners. This was more accepted in the past, but now is more restricted, as it was a way to obtain divisions of land “in fact” where it was not allowed.

Pieces of land assigned as “privates”, owners cannot divide them from the rest, as urbanization plots cannot be totally divided from the rest, and plots may have not the “minimum size” to be divided, as per the construction laws, or simply not authorized in the urbanization initial project. So, as plots with exclusive use cannot be divided, legally, the owner has the “exclusive use” of the land (nobody can use it except of the owner), but “technically”forms part of the “communal land” in which the urbanization was created.

In other words, in “exclusive land” owners can use the land, enjoy it, fence it, but not divide it from the rest of land of the urbanization.  The main consequence of this is that owners can enjoy and use their pieces of land, but, if they decided to modify the land, for example building on it a garage, or an additional room, or a pool, then they need to get the consent of the rest of “community owners”.

We may find different ways of Horizontal Divisions in urbanizations in all Spanish territory, depending in the way in which the urbanizations were designed, and the agreements made by owners.

So, if buying in urbanization, keep on mind:

–  That there may be community charges to pay, for communal areas maintenance

–  That part of your land may be considered of “exclusive use”

– That you may be requested to obtain the agreement from the rest of owners of the urbanization to make modification of your property

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