Unanimous vote or majority to install glass curtains?


IN our Community, an apartment building in Torremolinos, three apartments have installed glass curtains on their balconies after a simple majority vote in our ordinary AGM. These installations were also authorized by Torremolinos Town Hall.

Now our administration is threatening to have them dismantled. The opinion of the President and the Administrator is that a unanimous vote is required to install these glass curtains. Our President agrees that 18 rejas, or protective iron gratings, which have been installed over the years by various proprietors, are also illegal, but he would not act to remove these.

We have checked court cases and we find that the first instance court tends to forbid but higher courts on appeal allow the installations of glass curtains with a majority vote. I have discussed the issue with many people and confusion prevails. Practices vary almost case by case. We would welcome a clear-cut interpretation of the Horizontal Law in this respect.

Our basic question is:  Will a simple majority vote suffice to authorize the installation of frameless glass curtains on balconies or is a unanimous vote necessary?

A.P. (Torremolinos)

Here we go again.  The issue of enclosing balconies raises temperatures and interesting questions.  I congratulate you on your research into the matter.

First, I will give you a clear-cut interpretation of the Horizontal Law.  The Horizontal Law forbids the enclosure of terraces without a unanimous vote.  Further, the enclosure of terraces requires a complete revision of the Articles of Constitution of the Community, because it changes the square metres of enclosed surface of the flat involved.  This means that new participation shares must be assigned to each apartment, with the enclosed terrace added to the share of that flat and some percentage then taken off all the other flats. This means the enclosed flat pays a higher Community charge each year and all of the rest of the flats pay a little less. You do not “install” glass curtains.  You “enclose” a terrace. That is the law, as she is wrote.  Of course, all this must be re-registered in the Property Registry, with expenses involved.

Your basic question about majority or unanimous vote has already been answered by you.  The lower court follows the letter of the law and insists on unanimous vote.  The higher court, in its superior wisdom, applies a sort of common sense, and finds a way to let it pass.



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