The installation of an elevator in a community of owners can be complicated, there may be discussions about maintenance costs and possible problems that may arise in the structure of the building. These are some of the points that make it difficult for owners to make a decision.
Taking into account these possible drawbacks, we want to give you some help to better understand this topic and if there is any obligation or not for the community to install an elevator at the request of a single owner.
According to the Horizontal Property Law , there are two legal ways to get an elevator installed in a community of owners, either compulsorily or through a vote.
Can a lift be installed in a neighborhood community?
In most cases there is a very high technical feasibility that allows the installation of an elevator where it does not exist today. It is very important to study the economic viability that this entails, given that it is the key factor when developing the project.
Although it should be considered that the installation of an elevator and all the works that may arise to a large extent eliminates or minimizes architectural barriers. This becomes a very important detail in collaboration through aid and the profitability of the building by the agencies and estates, as well as the different town halls. This is because it has been understood that more than being a luxury must be in need.
Is it mandatory to install a lift in a community of owners?
The Law of Horizontal Property indicates in its article 10.1b that the community of proprietors has the obligation to install an ascent r as long as it is fulfilled with a series of characteristics, which are:
The applicant must be an owner
That the applicant has a disability or is older than 70
Living, working, or volunteering services for people with disabilities or who are older than 70
That the installation of the lift does not exceed 12 monthly installments of fees paid by the owner of common expenses.
Although the compulsory installation will be canceled if there is an incompatibility of the building for said work, or when its installation changes or significantly alters other important elements or directly harms another owner.
What happens when the cost of the lift works exceeds 12 monthly payments?
In this case three situations could occur:
In the event that the owner's board of directors, at the request of one, approve the installation of the elevator, all the owners must assume the expenses of the agreement in an obligatory manner regardless of the budget. (This means that, if the majority of the owners and that they represent the majority of the participation fees approve the work of the installation of the elevator, all the owners are obliged to assume the expenses involved in installing the elevator, regardless of the budget.)
In the event that the community rejects the installation of an elevator at the request of the owner (disabled or over 70 years) because it exceeds the 12-month period of common expenses that each owner should pay, it will become mandatory if the applicant assumes the extra expenses for the installation of the elevator.
If the community rejects the installation of the lift at the request of one of the owners because it exceeds 12 monthly payments and the applicant does not want or can not assume the extra installation costs, this work will no longer be mandatory. Therefore, this work could not be carried out.
How many votes are required to install a lift in a community of owners?
Article 17.2 of the Horizontal Property Law states that it requires the majority of favorable votes from the owners for the installation of the elevator, which, in turn, covers the largest share of the fees.
What is an architectural barrier?
It is called architectural barrier to all that obstacle that prevents the free transit and access to a certain group of people. The best known is the accessibility barrier to a building or part of it. These barriers hinder or impede free mobility for people with disabilities, the elderly, convalescents or pregnant women.
For example, stairs are architectural barriers without alternative access routes such as ramps or elevators.
Is the removal of architectural barriers subject to a vote?
In the event that the installation of an elevator requires the removal of architectural barriers, it must be submitted to a vote of the owners' meeting, as indicated and required by article 17.2. A favorable vote is required from the majority of the owners who also represent the majority of participation fees. In relation to the foregoing, the activities related to its maintenance include the care of the security systems. Among the tasks involved is to lubricate the systems. Being lubricated prevents the forced traction of the mechanisms. This improves the gearing of each piece when it is moved.
However, as we have already indicated, if the cost of installing the lift does not exceed 12 monthly expenses and, in addition, the aforementioned requirements are met, its installation is mandatory. The inspection of the elevator must be total. It is important to go through each part of the structure. These are the cabin, including the doors, the floor and the roof. Check the state of the traction and tension zones. Maintaining a periodic check is a preventive way to ensure the lift's warranty.
Should the expenses of the installation be covered equally by all the owners of the community?
This is the point that generates more discomfort among the community of owners. At the moment of paying the fees, there are usually complaints such as:
"If I live on the ground floor and I'm not going to use it, why should I pay for something I'm not going to use?"
"The neighbor who lives on the top floor will benefit more than me, he should pay a higher fee"
"If I opposed the installation of the elevator from the beginning, why should I pay?"
But for this case, article 9.1. e of the Horizontal Property Law describes that, each one of the owners must contribute obligatorily with the arrangement of their quota of participation, in the general expenses of the maintenance and adequate maintenance of the property and its services.
This means that, each of the owners must pay according to their share of participation in the community, or as it is also known coefficient of co-ownership. It should not be paid in equal parts divided among all and much less in proportion to the height. The Law of Horizontal Property establishes that the expenses of the community that must be paid are for being an owner rather than for being a user , therefore, according to the proportion of their share of common elements per share. However, there is the possibility of an agreement between the entire community for a distribution of expenses, but this must be accepted unanimously by all the owners.
What are the places where you can install a lift in a community of owners?
At the moment that the work has been approved, whether by voting or by obligation of the law, according to the requirements already mentioned, one must look for an expert company in installation of elevators.
In the case of installing an elevator in a community of owners, and that these have never had one, they usually choose places such as:
Garden of Lights
Hollow of stairs
Hollow interior of stairs with modification
Outside, this means additional permits.
After confirming that an elevator can be installed, what is the next step?
If it has already been approved and verified that the building is suitable for the installation of an elevator, the next step is to formalize the project by hiring a company that specializes in the sector. These usually have all the mechanisms to develop the work, such as: architects, engineers, manufacturing, technical experts in the installation and maintenance of elevators and construction to execute the work.
Who is responsible for the maintenance of the elevators?
In this case, article 9.1.e must be taken into account again . It states that the maintenance of the lift must be borne by all the owners of the community, and this in proportion to their share of participation. Although you can also reach an agreement between the community of another distribution of expenses previously approved unanimously by all owners.
How long does it take to install the elevator since the company signs the contract?
These are data that tend to be very variable, since it will depend a lot on the company that is hired, as well as where the elevator will be installed and its ease. Despite this, you can take an estimated time thanks to some general data. The deadlines can be these:
1 month to develop the project
From 1 to 3 months can delay the request for licenses for the work
Between 1 and a half and two months will delay the development of the work itself
The manufacture of the lift could take about 6 weeks
1 month for installation
Subsidies and grants
It is important that the owners look for information about the subsidies and state aid they offer to install a lift in a neighborhood community. For this, it must be borne in mind that each Autonomous Community offers different aids. These may differ according to the requirements and amounts to be paid.