An urbanization is a planned community which has met the standards of the various governmental agencies in respect of the use of the land (residential, commercial, sports area or green zones) and with respect to providing a minimum of services and a minimum of quality control of the construction of roads, pavements, drainage, sewage system, electricity and water installation.
To obtain permission to develop land into an urbanization can take a developer well over a year and incur millions in expenses. An owners obvious advantage is the fact that the land usage is strictly controlled. If, for example, one decides to build a house on a plot in a section of an urbanization zoned exclusively for single family dwellings, he is assured by law that an apartment block cant be located on the single family plot adjacent to his. There are several zoning classifications for rural land outside of urbanizations, Marbella has just updated its master plan and great care should be exercised in purchasing land outside of an urbanization.Under most circumstances one may not be able to build on land which isnt on or within an urbanization.
Urbanization fees: As a general explanation, the community of co-proprietors or home owners association is a legal entity comprised exclusively of the owners of the apartments in a building or villas on an estate.
The purpose of the community is to own and maintain the common elements of the building or estate in question and a homeowner participates in the expenses of the community on a pro-rata basis with the other owners.
Usually his percentage of the costs is fixed by the size of the apartment or plot, divided by the total area of all the apartments or plots. A budget for the annual community expenses is presented at the annual general meeting of co-proprietors and the owners or their representatives must approve the budget by majority vote of those present at the meeting.
Expenses can vary substantially, according to the services required and normally include salary and social security of the porter, common garden maintenance, lift maintenance, repairs to buildings, refuse collection, electricity for lighting common areas, insurance for building, security if required and administration fees.
The President of the community must, by law, be an owner and serves without pay. In the case of an individual villa, community fees are often less, as the private gardens and exteriors of such properties are not maintained by the community.
If buying a Spanish property which takes part of a block, it is advisable to check at the Spanish property registry (Registro de la propiedad) the physical description of your apartment and the building that it is situated in, this way you will find out the actual size of the apartment and what is your common share.
The registry may also provide you with the rules pertaining to the use of the common facilities, general management and maintenance, which take part of the statutes of commitments of owners. Every new owner will be bound automatically by the statutes and the decisions taken at the previous meetings.
You should also make sure the seller is currant in his payments, otherwise the unpaid community fees could be charged to the new owner.