Legal actions available to condominium owners associations: The action for cessation

The Spanish Horizontal Property Law provides for two specific actions for the condominium owners association in the event of nuisance or delinquent co-owners or occupants: the action for cessation and the payment order procedure.

These actions ensure the fulfilment of the co-owners obligations under the HPL:

  • Not to carry out on it or on the rest of the property activities prohibited in the bylaws, which are harmful to the property or which contravene the general provisions on annoying, unhealthy, damaging, harmful, dangerous or illegal activities
  • Contribute, according to their share, to the expenses of the community and the endowment of the community reserve fund.

We now turn to the action for cessation.

What is an action for cessation in the field of COA?

In horizontal property matters, and under article 7 of the HPL, the action for cessation is a procedure available to the COA to request, through judicial assistance, the termination of activities “prohibited in the bylaws, which are harmful to the property or which contravene the general provisions on annoying, unhealthy, harmful, dangerous or illegal activities”.

Action for cessation proceedings

  • Before taking legal action, the president of the association shall require the owner, under penalty of prosecution, to cease the harmful activity
  • The president, with the prior authorisation of the owners’ meeting convened for this purpose, shall bring an action for cessation following the procedures of an ordinary lawsuit, and address the claim to the owner of the property and its current occupant if he is the perpetrator of the harmful activity
  • The judge may adopt any cautionary measures he deems appropriate, such as the immediate cessation of the activity, under penalty of incurring the offence of disobedience.

Consequences of the action for cessation

Article 7 of the HPL expressly provides that, in addition to the cessation of the activity, the court may impose the following sanctions:

  • Compensation for loss and damage
  • Deprivation of the right to use the dwelling or premises for a period not exceeding three years
  • Permanent termination of all rights relating to the dwelling, in the case of the non-owner occupant alone
  • Immediate eviction (in the case of non-owner occupant/s).

New legislation

On 14 June 2022, Law 10/2022, on urgent measures to boost building refurbishment activity in the context of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, came into force. Since then, the HPL contemplates, in addition to the traditional judicial channels, the possibility for Communities of Owners to resort to extrajudicial means of conflict resolution:

  • Arbitration
  • Mediation
  • Conciliation

These alternative dispute resolution methods to the judicial process will involve the participation of the defaulting owner.

Lauriane Moreira

If you have questions regarding the action for cessation in Spain,

Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice.

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