Earlier this year the Royal Decree 1/2015 entered into force in Spain and made individuals exempt from having to pay court fees. The passing of the law has made many wonder if this exemption will also apply to Communities of Owners even though they are not technically an individual.
Spanish law differentiates between the individual (persona física/natural) and legal entities (persona jurídica). Communities of Owners are not considered to be a legal entity under law but due to also not being an individual there is some confusion and controversy over which regulations are applicable to these organizations.
This problem was highlighted with the passing of Law 10/2012 which established different rates applicable to court fees for individuals and legal entities. It was resolved by the Spanish tax office by identifying the Communities as individuals due to them being officially represented by one individual member, usually their President.
As such it is being assumed that the Communities’ identification as individuals will remain the case in respect to this year’s law and as a result they will not be liable to pay court fees. Since the law was passed Communities have not paid court fees and these non-payments have so far not been contested by the Spanish tax authorities.
This should mean that Communities of Owners will now enjoy exemption from these fees and that many more may take legal action against indebted owners who refuse to pay Community Fees. This problem is said to affect 20% of all Communities of Owners after having escalated greatly as a result of the crisis.
Those who are affected by the problem of having to pay higher community fees as a result of non-payment by other owners can get in touch with us to arrange a free consultation in order to discuss the best course of action to take and to obtain an estimate of the costs involved.
Main image: Photo of properties on the Oasis Beach VII development on the Costa Blanca © Contrimar Country S.L.