Our business Urbytus is located right next to the Mijas area of Costa del Sol. This city council is implementing a very interesting plan to assist local residential communities with some of their maintenance needs.
The Mirror newspaper reported last month that the resident of a London flat had been awarded over 100K pounds for noise disturbance coming from the neighbours upstairs.
There is a terminology that we have started to come across more and more over the past year or so: proptech.
Our Communications Team had the chance to attend the UnBlockingChain#1 MeetUp event, organized by Polaris Link, by UMA Tech, part of the Universidad de Málaga.
The main speaker for the evening was Jordi Baylina, a recurring name in the world of blockchain and smart contracts. Baylina is well known as a smart-contract auditor and “white hacker”.
Perhaps two of the most flamboyant words in the dictionary. Their meanings, well… you certainly wouldn’t want to find out when you are close to purchasing or selling property!
Following on from the question about the legality of “The Presidents Fees”, we were asked whether the President has to declare the fees and pay tax on them? Assuming there is no receipt to justify costs other than the time he has put in, one would assume that this is an income for the time spent on the job. In other words the payments is for the hours of work and as such it can be considered as either an employment or income for the president. So how can the costs be justified for accounting purposes? Or can the Community make a gift to the President for his services? What is the proper procedure?
A few days ago, a president in Alicante area asked posed the following question “I am president of our Community. For the past 20 years, the community president has been paid 480 euros a year to cover his expenses. A new owner now states in a letter to the Administrators that this is a fiscal fraud and is illegal under Spanish law, even though the majority of owners voted in favour at the AGM. This owner says further that he will go to the authorities and demand that the payments stop and all monies be returned. Can you advise?”
Before we delve into giving an answer I wanted to add my personal view on it. Over the past few years at Urbytus while doing demos at AGMs and many other committee meetings, I have met and seen all sorts. From community presidents who worked as gardeners, cleaners and administrators paying themselves large sums and presidents who practically worked the god given hours in exchange of nothing.
The most common two forms of payment tend to be either a reimbursement for direct expenses and also a waving of sum or all of the community fees.
Certainly if one was to add up all the hours a president may spend helping and dealing with issues, it would be lowest paid job in Spain. Those who do take the roll and dedicate their time to such a job, do not do it for the economical retribution rather in most cases it is with full good intention and interest of the community. There is no way the community can get a better deal.
The legal answer to the question, provided by our colleague, David Searl, the author of “You & The Law in Spain” is as follow:
Spain’s Horizontal Law, which regulates Communities of Property Owners, says nothing at all about payments or assignations of money to cover a community President’s expenses. The law neither requires nor prohibits such payments, so there is nothing illegal about them. The important point is that the payments are voted each year at the AGM. In a very few Communities, the original Statutes, the Charter of the Community, prohibit such payments, so it might be wise to check them, just in case. And it just occurs to me that your new member might be reading the law of Catalonia. The Horizontal Law applies in Catalonia, but one article of the Catalan Civil Code prohibits payments to the community President.
The community president fee is also often questioned when the owners feel that they are not seeing anything in return. My view has always been that no matter how clean and good you work, you need to also communicate this transparency. Communication is simple. Urbytus provides you with a simple website, where you can log every work, job and conversation you have with the owners, gardners and the administrators. It won’t take you much more than you have already put in, but it does is the difference that you have been lacking:
- For a start, it is the easiest form of communication.
- The same file or document that you might type into a word file, you can enter directly into the web.
- It provides you with a full history of what you have done.
- It allows people to see the amount of work you have to deal with and how much of your time it really takes.
- It gives knowledge and access way and above your immediate memory and also helps you prepare the ground for the next president.
You surely, don’t need more reasons, try it for free today. Signup now for a trial version.
In 2005 to 2007, I kept reviewing how I can improve the way things work at our Home Owners Association (HOAs as they are known in the US) or otherwise known as communities of property owners or (Comunidades de Propietarios in Spanish) and their respective management companies that ran these communities. (see what is Urbytus)
I had started working on a web service for our own community and I talked to many friends and clients about the online program I had in mind for my community and the services I could provide through it. Some people were against the idea and others found it a wonderful idea. Internet access, broadband and penetration was still low and smart phones were still not in everyone’s hand, but the more I talked about it, the more it was clear that this was a sector in need of change.
The Urbytus team and our sponsor EU Property Solutions would like to thank all of the community presidents, administrators & friends who joined us for the 1st Presidents Club Golf Tournament.
The tournament was held at the beautiful Marbella Club Golf Resort in Benahavís on November 10 and was arranged with the help of golf pro Garry Corkish.
This event was held in aid of Cudeca, a local charity which provides end-of-life care for roughly 1000 people in the Málaga region. The hospice concept is not yet formally established in Spain, and Cuduca bridges the gap in care for the terminally ill and their families.
At Urbytus we are proud to extend our reach beyond helping communities get online to support this wonderful charity.
We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast while the mountain dew evaporated and at 9:30 the teams headed out for a round of Texas Scramble. The course is reportedly not the easiest, but the players had fun. The winning team was Andy Fergusson from Estepona with team mates. Congratulations!
After the tournament we enjoyed tapas and drinks while Cudeca representative Nati & Urbytus founder Ali, held a raffle & auction which further increased the proceeds given to Cudeca from this event.
This is the first time Urbytus has organized a golf event, but watch this space and join us next time for a friendly competition in support of a good cause. Sign up now to The Presidents Club to receive notification about our next event.
Thank you all, we look forward to seeing you next time!
The Presidents Club
It is a thing that often most entrepreneurs forget. It is not just about protecting your trade mark, but also making sure that you do not use someone else’s.
Let me begin with my own story as an example. In 2007 I embarked on a new project. I knew very well how important it was to get the naming right, have it registered and protected. Before coming up with a product or company name, we setup about doing a six months brain storming session, while working on the project in parallel.