Winter is coming and gas is expensive. So the communities of owners prepare to shoot quotas

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It is not a good year for the pocket. And it will certainly not be a good year for homeowner communities. The hangover from the energy crisis and rampant inflation that has left the year-on-year Consumer Price Index (CPI) in recent months above 10% threatens to force those who pay owners’ fees to juggle the numbers: scratching their pockets even more, raising rates and cutting bills by dispensing with non-essential services.

The Association of Property Administrators (CAF) of Madrid itself warned of this days ago and without half measures, which during an interview with the agency Efewarned about what is yet to come. “Community fees will go up 20, 30 or 40% and the communities that have a very fair treasury are going to have real problems”, pointed out one of the directors of the organization, Noelia Morales.

And as always the net figures are better understood than the percentages, to show a button. Morales calculates that a community of owners that last winter paid a bill of around 20,000 euros in fuel could face 100,000 or even more this year.

Heating, electricity… and services

“It poses a very complicated winter in the areas where it is cold. We have administrators who are not aware of the reality that is upon them, but people, for example, who pay 100 euros or less than 200, in November are going to be put in 800 or 900 euros per month”, warns Efe Peio Mendia, treasurer of the general council of collegiate property administrators. In parts of the north of the peninsula, such as Navarra, “a very strong rise” was already registered last year.

Faced with this scenario, administrators have been demanding improvements from the Government for buildings with central heating, which could suffer the most from rising prices and have even pointed out the “paradox” that —because of the regularization of rates— it looks worse situation an official protection housing building (VPO) with a central system than a chalet with private heating. Among other measures, the College of Property Administrators of Cantabria (CAFCA) demandedfor example, that the VAT reduction from 21 to 5% be applied to Community invoices.

The newspaper The world published this week that, in fear of the next bills, there are communities with central heating in which “some already install heat pumps” precisely to find systems that are less burdensome for the pocket. This same Thursday the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, assured that the communities of owners with collective boilers will be integrated into the contingency plan which will be presented “soon”.

“We are working on this situation so that they can benefit from the set of measures that are making it possible to lower this bill,” scored on Antena 3. Montero confirmed in addition to the reduction of VAT on gas from 21 to 5%, one of the big claims of the administrators, will benefit the communities of owners with collective boilers. Of course, the minister did not provide more details: “we are working on how they can be adjusted, but the technical mechanism by which we are going to do it is the one that we will present when announcing the contingency plan.”

Administrators also warn of rising electricity priceswhich can mean that a community that in 2019 paid 675 euros for its elevator must now pay more than 1,500 or that the cost for a garage that was around 5,380 then rises to 11,511.

The third factor that can trigger the community bill for apartments is inflation and its direct effect on service contracts such as cleaning, security or maintenance. “All providers are going to want to update the rise in the CPI in January, because it comes in the contract, and it is not ruled out that the rise will not stay at ten,” says Morales. In July the interannual rate of the CPI stood at 10.8%its highest level since September 1984. In August, in 10.5%.

Robert Linder Ec5f9hhma6w Unsplash

Solutions?

Efe details that the dues they are already up 15% as a community and a change in the heating bill is being considered, moving to month-to-month payments instead of every two months, to avoid the great threat: that the rise in the price of gas, electricity, diesel for heating and the cost of living translates… into an increase in delinquencies and, consequently, a greater burden on the coffers of the homeowners’ associations.

Another key Morales points out, is to rethink expenses that are not essential. “We have to tell them that pool parties are over, opening them for so many months, with so many hours of service, jacuzzis, saunas, ornamental plantations, light on the paddle tennis courts”, insists the directive. On the table there would still be another possibility, although it also implies incurring costs: install more efficient boilers or individual meters that would lower the common bill.

Images | Immo Wegmann (Unsplash) Y Robert Linder (Unsplash)

It is not a good year for the pocket. And it will certainly not be a good year for homeowner…

It is not a good year for the pocket. And it will certainly not be a good year for homeowner…

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