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Hello. I bought a apartment without checking the community fee first. Now I got this invoice telling me the fee for August is 109 Euros.

I don't understand the invoice fully, but maybe you can understand it?

My questions are: Why is the amount as high as 109 Euros? Is it because of outstanding debt to the community? Can I do something to lower it?

See the image for my invoice.

Thanks.
 

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109€ is (at first glance) the standard monthly fee, so no, there isn't anything you can do to lower it.

The invoice shows clearly that previous debts have been cleared by (I suppose) the previous owner, so all good there.

Also there are no special one off charges or provisions of funds shown either.

Why do you think you have made a mistake? Depending on the facilities of your community, 109€ per month is not an unusually high amount.

Do you have a "portero" in the block? A swimming pool? Gardens? Lifts?
 

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You did not ask what the co-property monthly charges were or if there were any major construction / repairs under consideration in the future??

If not, then you did not make a mistake; you just went into it with your eyes closed and/or un-educated about apartment life.
 

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Depends on the facilities. If it has largish gardens, pool etc. Also there is usually lighting around the block, soon adds up.

Someone I know bought off plan in a place in the hills behind Marbella, super gym, indoor and outdoor pool, security gated, tennis courts etc. And we're shocked to find the bill was € 300 pm. And this was about 5 years ago. I don't know who they expected to pay for all the facilities:rolleyes:
 

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Maybe it's a quarterly charge?
As there are charges for Cuota Ordinario Julio 2017 and Cuota Ordinario Agosto 2017, it seems more likely to be monthly.

However, I am puzzled by the Cuota Anual for €200 which also appears on the statement as having been paid in January. If monthly community fees are charged, what would that be? And why are't there any montly charges included on the statement from January through to June 2017?

As Michael Kelly said, the OP will need to speak to the Community President (or the Administrador de Fincas) to get an explanation.

Our community fees are €40 per month - we have lifts, gardens and a cleaning service for the communal areas, but no pool nor portero.
 

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As Isobella says it depends on the facilities that you have. In my experience the actual charge is usually calculated according to the actual size of properties on the urbanisation. My brothers son bought a very small bedsit type atico in Torre del Mar a few years ago and his fee's are 52€ per month. But other friends have a 3 bed in Rincon and they pay €160.
 

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My son and dil have a property on a smallish community, beach front between Estepona and San Pedro. It's a very attractive development, built in the early 1970s in the style of an Andalusian pueblo, with whitewashed houses set in beautifully kept gardens. The community employs a small army of gardeners and maintenance staff, as well as a twenty-four hour on-site security team. The gardens really are lovely and apparently often win prizes. Each small group of houses has its own pool.
It's mainly all-year residential, mixture of nationalities, fewer Brits now. The monthly fees are over 400 euros inclusive, no extras for wifi, satellite tv etc.but as the properties are ageing and the gardens require a lot of upkeep, it seems reasonable amount. Each property is painted outside once each year so owners have no exterior maintenance costs and the beach is spotless. There is a clubhouse used for community social and other events. Electricians, plumbers etc are on hand.
We stayed there for a month when we first arrived while looking for our own place. Not really my first choice of residence, a bit twee, but I can think of a lot worse places to live and we might well end up living there when we get too decrepit to maintain our current house.
 

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We live in a Spanish apartment block between the port and the town in Estepona.We have one of the top floor apartments with a beautiful roof terrace,with sea,town and mountain views.We have underground parking and a communal pool with small gardens.When we bought the apartment 17 years ago our monthly community fee was 39 euros.Our present community fee is 46 euros p.m.
I would say our building is 95% Spanish.Maybe therein lies the answer.
 

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We live in a Spanish apartment block between the port and the town in Estepona.We have one of the top floor apartments with a beautiful roof terrace,with sea,town and mountain views.We have underground parking and a communal pool with small gardens.When we bought the apartment 17 years ago our monthly community fee was 39 euros.Our present community fee is 46 euros p.m.
I would say our building is 95% Spanish.Maybe therein lies the answer.
I'm sure that's true but I've been thinking about my son's 400euros plus monthly fee and all things considered it's not that extortionate.
IBI, wifi/tv and gardening are included in that as well as external maintenance. We pay our gardener 100 euros a month sometimes more and we pay repairs, wifi/tv and IBI so given that we live in a larger house I still think my son gets good vfm all things considered.

I think I know where you live and yes, it is a very pleasant location. My ideal move would be to a top floor apartment in that block above La Rada so I could totter down for lunch and dinner there and take a leisurely stroll along to Tolone for my breakfast and late evening nightcap...:D
 

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We live in a Spanish apartment block between the port and the town in Estepona.We have one of the top floor apartments with a beautiful roof terrace,with sea,town and mountain views.We have underground parking and a communal pool with small gardens.When we bought the apartment 17 years ago our monthly community fee was 39 euros.Our present community fee is 46 euros p.m.
I would say our building is 95% Spanish.Maybe therein lies the answer.
Personally I wouldn't think nationality effects community fees. There are all kinds of charges as posts on this thread illustrate and it depends on the facilities you have, where you are, age and condition of building, size of residence... I don't know anyone who lives in an urb or building where the majority of residents are foreign but some people live in a flat in Madrid an an old building without a lift and others in a spacious detatched house with garden and a private road - now there's a difference in community charges!
 

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When we were looking at apartments, there didn't always seem to be a clear relationship between the amenities available and the amount of the community fees. We saw one which had no gardens, separate storeroom nor underground parking (all of which we have) but the community fees were higher than the one we bought. And another one with no gardens, parking nor separate storeroom where there wasn't even a cleaning service for the communal areas, the residents did it themselves to save money, but the community fees were still higher than ours.

It's definitely a question which should always be asked when looking at apartments to buy - along with the amount of the IBI bill and what the catastral value is in order to avoid any nasty shocks if complementary transfer tax is demanded at a later date.
 

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It's definitely a question which should always be asked when looking at apartments to buy - along with the amount of the IBI bill and what the catastral value is in order to avoid any nasty shocks if complementary transfer tax is demanded at a later date.
Can you please explain what "complementary transfer tax" is?
 

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Can you please explain what "complementary transfer tax" is?
If someone buys a property for an amount which is below the "official" value of the property according to Hacienda (which is based on the catastral value x the municipal co-efficient) then it is possible that following completion the buyer will receive a demand from Hacienda for the additional amount of transfer tax which would have been payable if the property had sold for the "official" value. For example, if the "official" value of the property was €200k but the buyer paid €150k, then Hacienda may demand 8% (in Andalucia, I know the rate of transfer tax is higher in some other autonomos regions) of €50k in additional transfer tax.

The official value can be challenged, but it involves the buyer paying for an independent valuation of the property and a lawyer to process the appeal for them plus Hacienda obtaining another "independent" valuation and there is no guarantee that the appeal would be successful.

It's something which has become more common since the property market crashed in 2009 but I know that some people had experienced this even before that - I remember one of the forum members, Isobella, has mentioned previously that she had been affected by this regarding a property purchase some years ago.

http://www.abacotaxes.com/complementary-tax

http://www.abacoadvisers.com/spain-explained/taxes/news/myth-busting-spanish-complementary-tax
 

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When we were looking at apartments, there didn't always seem to be a clear relationship between the amenities available and the amount of the community fees. We saw one which had no gardens, separate storeroom nor underground parking (all of which we have) but the community fees were higher than the one we bought. And another one with no gardens, parking nor separate storeroom where there wasn't even a cleaning service for the communal areas, the residents did it themselves to save money, but the community fees were still higher than ours.

It's definitely a question which should always be asked when looking at apartments to buy - along with the amount of the IBI bill and what the catastral value is in order to avoid any nasty shocks if complementary transfer tax is demanded at a later date.
If you feel that the level of community fees is too high you could always propose a reduction at the next community AGM. Once the accounts have been submitted and yearly expenditure has been declared there is usually an additional percentage added to cover unexpected bills/work during the forthcoming year. This additional percentage can sometimes get out of control. :( ..... The legal minimum reserve fund is an additional 5% of the community budget.
for example, if there are 25 apartments and the total community expenses for 2017 is €10,000 and no extra work is planned/agreed for the next 12 months, then the minimum amount to be collected should be €10,500. This would work out at €420 per apartment per year.

In order to set the annual community fees the community require full community accounts from the administrator for the AGM. Attendees at the AGM should/could set and agree the community budget. Action against non-payers should be agreed and additional funds may added to cover the shortfall from non payers.

You really need to get more involved and request information from your community president, secretary or administrator if you suspect your not getting value for money for you community fees.
 
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