Responsibilities and Obligations of the President of a Community of Owners
The position of president in a community of owners is an important responsibility that can fall to any homeowner within the community. However, it is essential to understand the duties, responsibilities and limitations that come with this position. In this article, we will answer some common questions related to the president in homeowners’ associations.
What should a person know when he/she is appointed president of the community of owners?
When a person is appointed president of a community of owners, it is crucial to be clear that this position is obligatory once elected by the Junta de Vecinos. With the exception of major causes, such as illness and others, it is not possible to refuse or cede the position to a third party.
In addition, it is essential to know the governance structure of the community, which includes the Board of Owners, the president (and possibly vice-presidents), the secretary and the administrator.
The statutes or agreements of the Board may establish other governing bodies, as long as they do not undermine the functions attributed by the Horizontal Property Law (LPH) to the aforementioned bodies.
Can you refuse the position of president?
The office of president is mandatory as mentioned above once elected by the Neighbourhood Council, unless there are force majeure causes that prevent it, such as serious illness. Owners cannot refuse to take on this responsibility once they have been appointed as chairperson.
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What are the responsibilities and duties of the president of a community of owners?
The president of a community of owners has several important responsibilities and duties:
Calling meetings: The president must call community meetings, specifying the place, date, time and items to be discussed. This includes the annual meeting at which the budgets and accounts are approved.
Closing the minutes: The president must close the minutes of the meetings and sign them within 10 calendar days of the meeting.
Debt collection: It is the responsibility of the president to keep abreast of the community’s financial information and to claim debts from defaulting owners.
Administration (if there is no administrator): In the absence of an administrator, the president should be responsible for controlling the billing, collection of fees, accounting and funds of the community.
Execution of agreements: Ensuring that the agreements adopted by the owners’ meeting are carried out, which means supervising the execution of works and the maintenance of the common facilities.
Access control and security: Maintaining control of access to the property and ensuring the safety of residents, including contracting security services if necessary.
Legal representation: Acts as the legal representative of the community before third parties, including municipal and judicial authorities. He/she is also in charge of signing legal documents on behalf of the community.
Financial management: Overseeing the community’s finances, including approving the annual budget, collecting fees from property owners, and managing the community’s finances.
What criminal liability can the president of a community face?
If the president exceeds his or her functions and acts against the law, he or she could face criminal liability, which could include:
Misappropriation offence: If the president appropriates money, effects, securities or other property belonging to the community of owners.
Disloyal administration: When the president also acts as administrator and violates the powers granted to him/her by the Horizontal Property Law, causing damage to the community.
Offence of fraud.
Crime of coercion: If the president prevents another owner, without being authorised or by means of violence, from carrying out activities permitted by law or forces him to do something he does not wish to do.
How to change the president as a matter of urgency?
To change the president as a matter of urgency, certain steps must be followed:
Have a valid argument backed by evidence, such as the president’s failure to fulfil his or her duties or betrayal of the trust of the neighbours.
Call a meeting or assembly, ask the president for a neighbourhood meeting specifying the location, time, date and items to be discussed, including the election of the new president.
If the president refuses to convene the meeting of owners, the requirements indicated in the Horizontal Property Law is that the neighbours can convene it by letting the president know with the collection of signatures of at least 25% of the owners representing 25% of the coefficients.
At the meeting, present the minutes deciding on the change of the president, which must be approved by the majority of the owners attending the meeting.
If the change of president is approved, the outgoing president must cease his functions, and the election of a new president will take place.
Being president of a community of owners carries with it a series of responsibilities and obligations that must be fulfilled in accordance with the Horizontal Property Law. In addition, it is important to understand the legal implications of actions taken in this position and to follow a proper procedure for changing the president if necessary.
Other questions and answers:
Are you satisfied with the administration in your community, Do you want to apply for a grant for your community’s projects, Is there delinquency in your community, Do you pay too much community for the services you get, How to save without affecting good service…?
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