Well, to continue with this rather thorny issue from last article where we were doing an estimation of expenses attach to an empty property in Spain could be alarming if you have never rolled up you sleeves and got down to do a few sums.
In our last article we mentioned taxes and other fixed expenses, this week we can take a look at the community of owners' expenses and other domestic payments.
Other fixed expense that cannot be avoided when you have an empty apartment is the monthly invoice sent from the community of owners. Each month any housing estate must cope with all the services, which will be based on the dimension of the common areas and other additional expenses and the number of owners that can be divided into.
It is difficult to provide a figure that this quota can ascend to. Depending on the property size it will depend the associated services provided, such as swimming pool, paddle courts, gym etc, obviously a property with swimming pool, concierge or doorman 24 hours a day will pay much more than another which does not have any of these services.
A 40 square meters apartment in Alicante, without lift or doorman, implies the payment of a receipt to the community of owners for approximately 25 to 30 Euros per month.
However, another apartment of similar dimensions, but with concierge, a couple of lifts and additional services, such as swimming pool, must pay an average of 100 to 200 Euros.We should take into account, in addition, that in many communities of owners, this receipt includes water and communal central heating costs.
Home owners pay.
The owner is obliged to pay all charges that are approved in the General Annual Assembly to make additional improvements to the property in most cases.
Communal heating is a good choice that saves costs to all residents. However, it comes out very expensive when you have an empty apartment and do not enjoy it. An 80 square meters with a doorman and heating could well pay a fee to the community of around 100 Euros per month.
Things are different if it is an old flat where it is usual that, at least every two years action need to be adopted to repair some damages to the installation services roof etc. It is difficult to establish an amount, since in any case it will be in function of the needs and the depth of reform.
All other bills.
To have an empty apartment, in addition, means to have to deal with all bills for minimum consumption household services such as electricity, water, town gas etc. Some people still pay a minimum quota for a fixed phone line.
One way to save money is to cancel all of these services, and pay the bills only when the apartment is occupied. I know that some companies do these deals for holiday homes; it is a question of doing some research.
With the electricity bills, the contracted power must be known so that you can calculate what the minimum maintenance charge will be. Electric companies allow you to sign various types of contracts for 2,2 kw, 4.4 kw and 8.8 kw-, which implies a different minimum charge.
The water invoice of many households is included together with the share of the community of owners. If it isn't, it will be an added expense that represents another approximately 50 Euros per month, minimum payment as normally it include rubbish collection and sewerage treatment but it also depends on the locality and the size of the town the property is situated.