Roles and Responsibility of the President of a Community of Owners

Roles and Responsibility of the President of a Community of Owners

Nathalie Zanolie

Abogada - Lawyer - Advocaat 

Colegiada ejerciente Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Santa Cruz de Tenerife 

                                           18 de Noviembre de 2019

The President legally has the representation of the community, in trial and outside it, in all matters that affect it in accordance with article 13.3 of the Horizontal Property Law. In addition, it will have the following functions among others:

  • Convene and preside over the Boards
  • Act as secretary and administrator, unless by majority agreement of the Board of Owners vote that these functions most be done by persons other than that of the president , or when provided in the bylaws “Estatutos de la Comunidad
  • Defend community interests in all kinds of circumstances.
  • Convene Extraordinary Meetings, when deemed appropriate.
  • Represent the community in legal actions that have been agreed by the Board. Therefore, in order for the President to act on behalf of the Community, a prior agreement of the Board of Owners is required to authorize it for that purpose, unless the President acts as co-owner or the statutes expressly provide otherwise. However, in order to answer the demand in defense of the Community and its agreements, the prior agreement of the Board in accordance with jurisprudence will not be necessary.
  • Sign the Community Boards minutes, together with the Secretary, to close them.

The President will be appointed, among the owners, by election or, alternatively, by rotating or drawing. The appointment will be mandatory and the designed must perform his duties under penalty of incurring responsibility, although he may request the relief from the Judge within the month following his access to the position, invoking the reasons that assist him to do so by law.

To be elected President, it is an essential requirement to be an owner and in the event that the presidente latter transmits the property home or local during his mandate, an Extraordinary Meeting must be convened and in the agenda must include the election of the new President.

The duration of the mandate shall be one year, unless the Community Statutes provide otherwise (Article 13.7 LPH).

The president is subject to responsibility for the acts he performs in the performance of his duties, and must compensate in cases where it causes damage, either to the community or to certain owners. The responsibility of the President is of a contractual nature, in accordance with article 1101 of the Spanish Civil Code in relation to article 1719 and 1725 of the same legal body referring to the mandates received from the Board of Owners and the specific functions referred to in the law, and with the “ Diligencia de un buen padre de familia” (With the diligence of a good father).

The most frequent assumption of the President's responsibility will derive from the overreach in his functions, when he acts of his own accord without prior agreement of the Board or when or if there is an agreement, the President does not comply this fully or partially. As an example of these actions are:

  • Sign contracts or terminate without authorization of the Board.
  • Sign insurance policies without canceling the previous one, so that the Community has to pay both premiums.
  • Deficiencies in accounting and justification of funds.
  • Hire works without authorization from the Board.
  • Dismissal of functions, such as not calling meetings or paying bills with the consequent damage to the Community and owners.
  • Filing legal actions without authorization of the Board or not answering demands.

For the requirement of responsibility, an extraordinary Board must be convened, which includes the President's requirement of responsibility and legal actions to be taken. In the event that the Board of Owners does not decide to take responsibility actions against the president, the owners may individually file the corresponding claim.

Is the new president responsible for the accounts inherited from a previous president?

The Horizontal Property law requires the Board of Owners to meet at least once a year to approve budgets and approve accounts. Although it is not mandatory, it is normal for the same Board to take advantage of the annual meeting to renew the position of the President who will be accountable for its management. If in the Ordinary Meeting the presidente is not renewed, it will be convenient for the agenda, in addition to the President's election point, to add another one on accountability of the outgoing, as otherwise it will be difficult to demarcate the responsibilities of the outgoing Presidents and incoming.

Do you have problems in the Community of your complex or will you not be on the island when the next Board of Owners is held? Do not hesitate to contact our office so that we can assist you on your behalf to the Board of Owners to cast your vote and defend your rights.

Nathalie Zanolie

Abogada - Advocaat - Lawyer

Nº de Colegiada 3.033 Icatf