We live on a fairly new residencial, and we have just set up our communidad (community) and held our first meeting. Spanish law makes these communities very powerful and requires that they are set up in a specific way.
Like most communities, we have employed an administrator who deals with all the paperwork and calls the meetings. At our first Annual Meeting, not many of the owners were able to attend but they can send a proxy, nominating someone else to vote for them.
I have mentioned before that we have neighbours from all over Europe. Some are from elsewhere in Lanzarote, several are from the Spanish mainland, others are Irish, Italian and English. This meant that the administrator had to translate all the discussions and paperwork – or that was the idea.
The meeting had two start times – the first call and then a second call half an hour later when a quorum is established out of those people present. We had researched the workings of Spanish law for communities via Google and so went fairly prepared for what would happen. We formally handed over our neighbours’ proxy votes and waited for the second call so the meeting could start.
The administrator had to read the legal document establishing the community – every word of it. We had a version in translation and it was hard keeping up with where we were as the discussion often broke off into something that was several pages earlier. There were some detailed discussions and then we read a bit more. Often we had to ask for the previous discussion to be translated or to ask for a certain point in English to be translated into Spanish. This is why the first meeting lasted three hours!! Added to this, every single one of the Spanish people present, including the administrator, answered their mobile phone at least once and didn’t leave the room to do so!
To cut a long story short, we decided on the monthly amount every had to pay for the community, looked at tenders for the garden, pool and maintenance work and discussed removing diseased trees and hedges from the residencial. We also decided to see if there was a TV system we could all use. This was quite controversial as the suggestion is that we have a system we all use and then everyone has to take down their satellite dishes! Trying to find channels everyone wants when we have so many nationalities living here will be fun!
We agreed that there would be a siesta time when everyone would be quiet and agreed set times for use of the pool. All inflatables are banned from the pool from now on. Communities can also decide on a set colour for sunbeds, awnings etc. These rules must upheld and you can be fined if you don’t abide by them.
We were finally heading to the end of the meeting when the important job of electing the Presidente came up. Our neighbour from Northern Spain was elected Presidente and I am the new Vice-Presidente! So watch this space for more news about my adventures. This will certainly improve my Spanish but in the meantime, I just need to go and speak to the people who have a crocodile in our pool – as they’re banned under the rules!