A Spanish flag flying on a terrace has led to a neighbourhood war in a Costa del Sol residential development which could end up in court.
The stage for this conflict is in the second phase of El Soto de Marbella, a residential development made up of 70 apartment properties, swimming pools and golf course inside Ojén municipality. In the attractive, adobe-coloured complex, with owners from a number of different nationalities, the majority are foreigners who command a majority on the community of owners.
Simmering rows due to alleged discrepancies in the community’s management by absent members have come to a head over the decision of several Spanish families to place their red and yellow flags on their terraces.
The community’s statutes prohibit installing objects on the façade or hanging clothes on terraces that can be visible from the outside. After several requests for the flags to be removed, some homeowners took them down. But others, such as one couple, Cristina López and Luis Pérez, did not.
Now a lawyer representing the owners’ association has sent them a letter warning them that if they continue to display the flag they will be sued, with the aim of getting a judge to force them to remove it. In order to take this step, a meeting of the owners has been called for this Saturday.
SUR has consulted the statutes which refer exclusively to the outside of the buildings. The only reference to the exterior is in the section which states that it is forbidden to “hang clothes in the windows, terraces and gardens that can be visible from the outside”.
Cristina López said: “I find it insulting that they want us to remove the flag of our country, equating it to a rag. But the flag is not even on the façade, it is inside my terrace and nailed to a flowerpot.” López believes the community of owners will move to take the legal action “because there are many [absent] British people who have delegated their vote to the president, who is also British”.
Rodríguez Administrators, who have a contract with the complex, said that the rule banning the hanging of clothes or other objects is “for aesthetic reasons”.
“There is nothing anti-Spanish here, it is a question of aesthetics. There was previously an incident with some people who put up the British and US flags and when they were warned, they removed them without any problem.”
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