The role of the President

The role of the President
Basically speaking, the only community officer required by law is the president and the
· The election procedure: The role of the president is mandatory. The president must
be elected by the members of a community and under Article 13 must be a member of
that community. A simple majority vote in the Annual General Meeting suffices to elect
the president. If no one volunteers then a simple drawing of lots takes place and the
winner (loser!) is the president. With smaller communities sometimes the position is
held in rotation.
· The legalities: If the president wishes to be relieved of the office, he/she must apply
to the court within one month of taking office citing his/her reasons but as this type of
legal action is likely to be a lengthy process, there is really no point as the appointment
is normally only for one year anyway unless the statutes specify other time periods. The
court will rule under Article 17.3 on the matter, designating under the same ruling which
of the owners will substitute for the president in the office until a new president is
chosen in a time set by the judge. Likewise, the court may be approached when it has
proved impossible for the assembly to choose a president for whatever reason. If a
community does not act to elect a new president when the time is up, the old one will
continue in office until a new president is elected. A simple majority vote can also put
the president out of office. The person designated to be president can be relieved of
their position before the expiry of the term by a resolution of the General Assembly,
convoked for an extraordinary meeting.
· Small communities: All communities govern themselves by the administration system
of Article 396 of the Civil Code, unless their statutes expressly establish otherwise.
Common misconceptions are below cited:
· The president does not have to be or speak Spanish
· The president does not have to be an official full time resident.
· The president may be paid for his services or have his expenses covered if a
community chooses to do so
· The importance of the role: The president is in charge of the community and
has total authority as your representative. He/she is ultimately responsible by law for
the actions of the community and unless a professional administrator is appointed by
the General Assembly, may represent the community in all legal aspects both in and out
of court. The president and/or the appointed administrator sign contracts and cheques
and can bring lawsuits in the name of the community when they are authorised by the
vote of the general meeting.
If the community is sued e.g. If someone falls through a badly maintained fence – the
president and/or the appointed administrator, acting through a lawyer, will be the
community representative in court.
· Community Politics: A community should choose and elect its president and
board members prudently and with caution. As administrators we always recommend
that the community choose and elect seriously minded and experienced business
We have first hand experience of unqualified persons gaining power in a community of
owners and twisting the community into a legal and financial travesty and thereby
devaluing the properties by up to 40% of what their value should be.
As a rule of thumb, an owner should consider that his community fees should range
anywhere between 1 and 1.5% of his property’s current value.
· The administrator: The functions of secretary and administrator are carried
out by the president of the community apart from when the statutes or General
Assembly by majority vote provide that such office be held separately from the
presidency. The posts of secretary and administrator may be the same person or
company or separately chosen. The administrator is general a legal requirement and
unless a community is very small should be an employed professional individual or
corporate entity with the necessary software, staff and experience to support and
advise the president. The president ultimately is the one that makes the decisions. The
administrator is paid for their services and may not in principle be a member of the
community as this may represent a conflict of interests.
· Vice President: The role of the vice president is voluntary. He/she is chosen
again by a majority vote just like the president. The vice presidents can replace the
president if he is absent or incapacitated. The vice president/s also assists the president
in carrying out his duties according to the terms established by the General Assembly.
· Duties of the President: Generally only a president can call a meeting but in
the unlikely event of him/her refusing to do so, 25% of the owners combined can
legally call a meeting through first addressing the president who thereafter instructs the
administrator. A meeting must have two start times or “calls”.
For the meeting to be legal on the first “call” 51% of owners must attend to form a
quorum. In reality this rarely happens and so the law states that when a second
meeting is arranged any number of owners may form a quorum but this meeting must
take place thirty minutes after the first “call”.
o Owners are advised to attend meetings in person or by proxy to prevent their
community being steered in the wrong direction – this could have a negative effect on
their property’s investment value
· The president/and or the appointed administrator:
1. Convenes the A.G.M. giving reasonable advance notice.
2. Presides over the general meeting and ensures that the order of business is
followed and everyone gets a fair hearing.
3. Oversees the preparation of the accounts and expenditures and income.
4. Prepares the budget for the coming year.
5. Ensures that the minutes of the meeting are carefully kept.
6. Informs any absent members in writing of the decisions taken. If they do not
register any protest within 30 days, their agreement to the decisions is assumed
unless the decisions are contrary to law and then these can be revoked by 3
months or 12 months in court.
7. Oversees the management of the common elements and services of the
8. Hears or receives the complaints from community members.
9. Has full responsibility for the operation of the community, subject only to the
approval of the A.G.M.
· The Annual General Meeting (A.G.M.): At the A.G.M. the president will present the
actual expenditure for the prior year and the budget for the coming year unless it has
been agreed that the administrator carries out these duties. These financial issues must
be approved by the meeting. Generally sufficient information regarding expenditure is
sent to owners with the notification of the A.G.M. The approval of the expenditure and
budget together with the election (or re election) of the president and administrator are
mandatory agenda items. Proposals from owners are other agenda items but to be
voted on must be mentioned in the agenda. Discussion on “any other business” can be
held and if the meeting agrees the president will call a future E.G.M (extraordinary
general meeting) to vote on the issue.
Annual General Meetings should be handled in a serious businesslike fashion.
An Annual General Meeting should be a forum to review the past year and prepare for
the following year. Where this happens, the approval of accounts and debtors lists tends
to be mere formalities.
· Conclusion: To reiterate, the president and/or his/her administrator plays an important
role in managing your property investment and care should be taken in the
appointment of these working professionals.