Can I say no to being Community President?

Every community and urbanization requires a community president. In most Spanish communities, the role of President rotates between the neighbours and each year the presidency is changed, unless both the president and the owners are happy to carry on. There is no maximum term, but the minimum term is one year and if no one agrees to accept the role (in cases where there is no yearly rotation) then a draw is made to select a President among the owners.

Community President is a highly important role which can really make a difference in the way the community charges are spent, pushing through improvements, dealing with conflict – a good president can achieve a lot. However it can be a big responsibility and you may wish to say no, but can you get out of it?

In normal cases the answer unfortunately is no. However there are frequent cases where people refuse the role of President, particularly if the owners do not live in their property, or their health is not good and these issues can be proven to stand in the way of fulfilling the role adequately.

An owner can apply to the committee and ask them to accept their refusal of the position on certain grounds. If the committee accept these reasons then they will simply hold another election or draw to select the next President.

If they don’t feel that these are good reasons they can deny the refusal of the presidency and follow the legal route by starting the “procedimiento de equidad” (equality proceeding) and bringing it before a judge. It’s a relatively quick process and the judge must resolve the situation within 20 days.

However, the legal route is better avoided if possible as it can be expensive and create really negative feelings within the community. There are tools to make the role of Community President easier, such as a community website where people can communicate, share ideas and issues and solve problems even if all the owners aren’t living in the same place.

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