The main legislative changes in relation to horizontal property in the last year 2019, which has just ended, were the modifications that, after several parliamentary vicissitudes, were approved in March within the REAL DECREE-LAW 7/2019, MARCH 1ST.
The main changes are as follows:
- A) Reserve Fund
The art. 9.1.f) LPH was modified and now states that the Reserve Fund will be provided with a quantity that cannot be less than the 10% of the last ordinary budget. Therefore, the modification is the increase of that percentage from 5% to 10%.
- B) Works and mandatory actions.
The art. 10.1.b) LPH was modified by adding that, in terms of works related to the access of disabled people or people over 70, and in order to ensure a proper use of the common areas, ramp installation etc. “it will be compulsory to make these works when the public grant that the community can have access to is 75% of the cost of those works”.
- c) Tourist Apartments
A new paragraph was added on the article 17 of the Spanish Property Law.
“12.The agreement by which the exercise of the activity related to tourist apartments is limited or conditioned, whether it modifies or not the Bylaws, will require the approval of 3/5 of the total of the owners which represent 3/5 of coefficients of participation. Likewise, it will be possible for the community to agree, with the same majorities, to establish special expenses or an increase of the share of the community fees to the house where this activity is taking place, as long as these modifications do not increase the fees over 20%. These agreements will not be retroactive”.
The modifications of points A and B are running properly, with the purpose of, respectively, giving greater financial balance to the communities, and guaranteeing mobility and accessibility to disabled people.
The modification of point C, relating to tourist apartments, which a priori could be understood to be more far-reaching, is, however, the one that has caused the most uncertainty, given that its implementation is complex. In addition, it has to be carried out in conjunction with recently approved Autonomous Community Decrees on tourist apartments.
The legislator’s attempt to provide legal coverage within the LPH for tourist apartments has been insufficient for the moment, and would need to be developed more precisely. Specifically, the possibility of increasing quotas for properties where a tourist apartment activity is developed may be attractive for the communities, but in the way proposed it is difficult to approve.