Building Complex Management in Tenerife

For swallows and those who move to Tenerife full time, building complex management can take some getting used to but is it any better or worse through the current pandemic?

When people first rent in a complex or buy a property that is contained within a complex, they can sometimes find that the community management is a little … well … complicated.

Take my neighbour, for example.  When she and her husband moved into this community they embarked on a home improvement project which involved building a new floor and painting the exterior of the house. They did a lovely job and their house is in keeping with the general appearance of others in the street but that did not prevent them from receiving a visit from La Presidenta to give them a telling off for not following community guidelines. And this, despite the fact that the community president has herself extended her property by adding a new floor and extending her garden. This do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do situation is not uncommon.

This interference in what you do with your own property might seem to be a ridiculous intrusion but when you buy property on a complex you are bound by the community rules as to what you can do to that property. If the rules say you must have dark stained wooden shutters then you won’t get away with a bright sunny, yellow. Same with the height of the walls or the materials used in building an extension.

Then there are the community fees and the transparency or lack thereof of what is being done with the money you pay into the community each month. In one local complex both the president and the administrator were recently bounced out in what would have been a bloody coup in the old days. The complex residents had had strong suspicions of book-cooking for quite a while and when evidence was finally obtained, the two were trounced at the next election committee. Whether legal action will be taken remains to be seen.

That story pales in comparison to the situation my friend is currently experiencing. She is inches from paying her last mortgage payment, only to have the once beautiful complex she falling into disrepair during the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s all very well for the community management to plead poverty during the current crisis, but they are still taking management fees while the pools and walls crack and peel.

While the notorious fraudster at the head of the complex management company continues to line his pockets, the community struggle to get heard in court because he holds on to a greater number of absent proxies than all the permanent residents combined.

Not all complex management is bad. There are some whose focus is not to line their own pockets but rather to improve and enhance the environment for all their residents. Rent or buy on one of these complexes and your stay there is likely to be a happy one.

What has your experience been with complex management? Feel free to name your complex and give them hearty thumbs up or a boot in the backside.