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It is possible to change the use of a commercial premises to housing without the permission of the neighbourhood community

Jun 12, 2020 | Last news

Lately we have been living difficult and uncertain times … This has caused that many owners have not been able to make a profit from their premises, causing them to consider changing the use of their commercial premises for housing. Despite everything, questions commonly arise about whether the Community of Owners has to decide on such change.

But … What does the community of owners have to do with all this?

First of all, it must be taken into account that each building has a document that basically physically describes the building, including its properties (premises and dwellings), the common elements and the participation fee that each property has in them, in addition to containing constitution rules. There may also be community statutes.

Modifying this document and the statutes requires unanimity of the community owners.

So this decision must be approved by the community?

According to the above, we could think that the change of use modifies the constitutive title in which it is described that this local is a local and is not a dwelling and, therefore, we will need the unanimity of the community to be able to modify the use of our local.

However, unanimity will not be required, not even approval at the meeting, provided that the following aspects are present:

  • That there is no express prohibition in the constitutive title or the community statutes on the modification of the use of real estate.
  • That with the modification no common element is altered or the participation quotas are modified.

This is because there is full freedom to establish the use of a property in horizontal property, unless it is legally prohibited or that the change of destination in the constituent title or in the community statutes has been expressly prohibited, provided that such change doesn’t modify a common element or the participation fees.

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