As a resident, you must help to maintain the building in which you live:

  • Owners and tenants are required to keep their apartment or premises in good condition.

  • Each year, the owners' association establishes the amount of the association fee (rebut de la comunitat), a sum of money that each owner or tenant pays on a regular basis (usually monthly) to cover the maintenance (wear to furniture, lighting and bulbs, insurance, lifts, etc.) and cleaning of the building. If you have rented a home through an estate agent, your  rental contract (contracte de lloguer) must state whether association fees are included in your rent or have to be paid separately.

If your rental contract does not specify that you, as the tenant, have to pay the fees in question, they must be paid by the owner. Your landlord may not charge you for association fees unless your rental contract contains an express, written agreement under which you are to pay those fees and specifies the amount payable each year.

  • You must help to clean communal areas. In some buildings, the residents take turns to do the cleaning. In other cases, the association contracts someone to carry out the task in question. The corresponding payment will be included in the association fee and made by the association's chairperson or through an estate manager (administrador de finques) 

Some buildings have a caretaker, who is responsible for cleaning, for keeping spare keys and for performing other tasks for residents. That service is paid for jointly by all the residents and is usually specified in your rent receipt (rebut de lloguer).

  • If you notice unusual noises, cracks or smoke, you must inform the association's chairperson.

  • The façades and other parts of the building which are visible from the street, such as doorways, aerials and chimneys, must be kept in good condition. You must therefore not hang clothes out to dry from windows or on balconies facing out onto the street.

  • While residents have to help to maintain communal elements (lifts, entry phones, television systems, rooftop areas or terraces, drainage systems or façades, for example), they may not handle or carry out work on them under any circumstances. Only technicians from specialised companies contracted by the association may perform such tasks.

  • If a communal element (such as a yard or a rooftop terrace) is damaged, all the owners are responsible for resolving the situation and must jointly meet the cost of doing so, even if the damage in question only affects or is a problem for a single resident.

  • It is compulsory to set up an association or reserve fund (fons comunitari o fons de reserva) for building maintenance. Contributions to the association fund are the responsibility of owners, not of tenants. The reserve fund may only be used for making direct payments for expenses arising from maintenance and repair work performed on the building, for taking out an insurance policy that covers damage caused to the building and for establishing maintenance contracts for the property and its general facilities, as well as to cover any expenses that must be paid by means of apportionment (derrama) to the various members of the association.

  • It is very important for the association to take out insurance to cover accidents, acts of nature and theft.

With regard to construction work
(Pel que fa a les obres) 

  • The owners' association must carry out the construction work required to ensure that the building is properly maintained and preserved.

  • You must inform the association's chairperson before carrying out construction work on your home. You must also inform your town or city council, from which you will need to obtain a minor building permit (llicència d'obra menor) or a major building permit (llicència d'obra major).

  • Whenever construction work has to be carried out on a building or a home, it is essential to seek the advice of a specialist and to obtain the necessary permits, so as to guarantee that the work performed is safe, is of a high standard and complies with current regulations.