Property owners in Spain might be forced to spend more on work to improve access to residential buildings. Under current proposals Spanish law will be adapted so that it meets the requirements set out in the UN convention on the rights of disabled people.
The proposals for changes to the law have already been approved by the Spanish parliament and are now being discussed by the Senate. The changes to the current law on disabled access could force property owners to improve access for people with disabilities or for people over the age of 70 which costs no more than 12 ordinary community charges – in the past the law stated that it should not cost more than 3.
Specifically the proposals say that ‘property owners in flats where disabled people or people over 70 years old reside will be obliged to carry out the necessary work to improve access to the building which could mean the installation of mechanical or electronic devices’. However property owners whose annual incomes are not more than 2.
5 the average salary in the index calculated by Iprem will be exempt.
Nevertheless disabled groups believe that the proposals under discussion do not go far enough and in some instances are ‘clearly insufficient’ which is why the Spanish Federation for People with Disability (Cocemfe) is currently lobbying members of the senate in order to improve the law before it is voted on in the upper chamber.
Cocemfe want more help offered to property owners who might find it difficult to pay for work to improve access to their building and has asked for ‘imaginative formulas’ to help those on low incomes.
One idea suggested by Cocemfe is that the government should assume the burden of payment for owners’ association which cannot afford to pay for work to improve access to their buildings and then recover the costs at a later date from the value of the properties when they are not longer needed.