What are the main horitzontal property traits?

10 | 02 | 2020

We will introduce in what is horitzontal property and how is regulated in Spain?

Today we will deal with all aspects of the Condominium.

The concept we will deal is found in article 553-1.1 of the Catalan Civil Code:

 'This legal regime of property confers to the owners of this right the exclusive over the privative elements and in community with the others in the common elements.'

 The definition contains the essential characteristic of the legal figure: the coexistence of an exclusive property and a community or co-ownership.

We could therefore define horizontal property as the legal regime applicable to a property in which elements of private property and elements common to all the owners coexist.  The essential elements to be underlined about residential property are three:

a.       The existence of a single property.

b.      The existence of elements of this property that can be the object of exclusive ownership.

c.       The existence of other elements on common property regime to the owners of the private elements.

The establishment of the horizontal property regime requires the granting of the deed of incorporation, although it is not necessary that, at the time, the construction is finished. 

Horizontal property implies two aspects of property rights for the owners:

1- An exclusive property right in relation to a physical space (flat, premises, lumber room, etc.), which is recognised as being for private use, and which must have its own access to the street, directly or indirectly, through community spaces.

The owners of privative elements can sell, rent, record and modify them with no other limitation than those of the regulation of the communities. In that sense we remind you which are the majorities to adopt the different decisions in the owner's community.

In case of renting, the owner is responsible about this for the community. 

The owners have the duty to maintain the property and its installations in good condition.

Another obligation is that the owners and  private elements tenants cannot carry out band activities in the community, the statutes, the regulations or that endanger the building.

In case of sale, it is essential that the selling owner must inform the community secretary that he/she is no longer the owner of the physical space he/she used. In case he/she does not do this communication, he/she will respond jointly with the new owner, of the debts with the community.

2- A right of co-ownership together with the rest of the owners over the common elements and services. of flats, premises, car parks, etc. 

The legal definition of these is found in article 553-41 which establishes that the following are common elements: 'the plot of land, the garden, the swimming pool, as well as: structures, facades, roofs, halls, staircases, lifts, aerials and, in general, with a residual character, the installations and services of the private elements which are destined to the community use or to facilitate the use and enjoyment of the mentioned private elements.'

'Common elements use corresponds to all the owners of private elements, must be adapted to that provided for in the articles of association and to normal use according to the type of community element in question, without prejudice to the community article 553-42'.

Article 553-43 defines the common elements for exclusive use:

We can find in some communities common elements to which their exclusive use has been attributed to one or several privative elements. Common examples are terraces covered by the building, and also the use of the garden or swimming pool reserved for the owners of dwellings. In this case, the owners who have the use assume the ordinary maintenance expenses , while those corresponding to structural repairs, or which benefit the whole of the building, are common.

We trust that we have helped you with the explanation of a central element in our sector as it is the Horitzontal Property. In a week we will speak about Vertical Property regime.