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It is known as Horizontal Property the system that rules the right of co-ownership about the communal elements in a building or complex which is composed by different properties or premises which, at the same time can be used independently for its correct use and enjoyment. The Legal Provisions to rule this are: Section 396 of the Spanish Civil Code and the Horizontal Property Act, and if that is the case, the Deeds of constitution and regulation of Condominium and possible Article of Association. 

Section 7.1 of the Horizontal Property Act provides: 

"1. The owner of each property or premises will be able to modify architectural elements, installations or services of the said property as long as those modifications do not damage or alter building security, its general structure, and external conditions, or cause a prejudice on the rights of another owner, having to inform previously about the works to be carried out to the person who represents the Community.

He will not be allowed to carry out any reform on the rest of the building and if he notices any urgent repair that needs to be done, he will have to communicate that immediately to the Administrator of the Community."

According to what it is said in the legal section, an individual owner of a property that belongs to a community will not be able to carry out any alteration or reform either outwardly due to its external configuration or aesthetics, or inwardly if those alterations will affect the building security meaning this, works which modify its structure, being allowed to carry out any reform or alteration which respect the mentioned rules. 

Under the provisions of the same Act, regarding the rights and duties of each co-owner, " an attempt has been made to configure the said rights and duties with criteria inspired in the neighbourhood relationships, trying to pass rules and regulations addressed to guarantee that the exercise of the own right will not mean a prejudice against the others´rights neither against the complex as a whole, with the aim to fix the basis of a normal and peaceful coexistence."

In addition to having to compile with the provision of the Horizontal Property Act, works which mean an increase of volume of the property, will need to meet two requirements: 

a) The plot on which it is built will have to have allowed buildable area (buildability) according to the Municipal town planning regulations. 

b) the works have to be authorized by the Community of Property, since, in case there is buildability available on the land the property is built, the rights of new building will belong to all the owners of the complex that form the Community. 

All restrictions imposed by the circumstance of being the property part of a community of property owners, can be overcome always with the unanimous authorization of all the members of the community granted through the means the law provides. Of course, this does not apply to impositions on the part of the urban legislation, therefore, any work to be carried out must obtain first the compulsory municipal permission or licence, which the Town Hall will grant if the works are according to the urban legal provisions, but always taking into account the rights of the Community of Property owners for its authorization, in such a way as it has been described above. 

We hope you find this information useful and remind you that we will be more than happy to answer your questions or doubts by e-mail or in person at our Offices in the Commercial Center Torregrosa, near Consum and Lidl. 


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