At Quikprokuo, with over 20 years of experience in the field of real estate law in Madrid, we have assisted numerous clients in navigating the sometimes turbulent waters of the cooperative housing model. This option, which at first glance may seem attractive for its economic and community benefits, can present challenges and conflicts, with non-compliance being one of the main issues.


1. Housing cooperatives: The initial scenario

Housing cooperatives emerge as an alternative for those looking for an affordable and suitable housing solution. They are collective organizations that, in addition to having a social dimension, are also legal entities with obligations to their members and third parties. However, not all cooperatives function in the same way, and discrepancies may arise in the management and development of housing, leading to non-compliance situations.


2. Facets of non-compliance


Non-compliance in housing cooperatives can have various facets:

  • Economic: This type of non-compliance can arise from poor management of the common fund, unexpected increases in construction costs, and even fraud. The cooperative might not have correctly estimated costs or may have incurred unnecessary or unjustified expenses.
  • Project-based: Situations may arise where changes are made to the original design without the approval of the cooperative members. Materials of inferior quality may also be chosen, or spaces and services that were initially agreed upon may be omitted.
  • Timeline-based: One of the most common and frustrating breaches for cooperative members is the delay in construction and delivery of homes. This can be due to a variety of factors, from issues with licenses and permits to labor disputes with builders.


3. Fundamental rights of cooperative members

Knowing the fundamental rights is essential for any cooperative member:

  • Right to information: This right ensures that cooperative members must be regularly and in detail informed of the progress of the works, economic management, and any other aspect that may affect the cooperative.
  • Right to participation: Cooperative members have the right to actively participate in important decision-making, as well as in choosing corrective measures when a breach occurs.


4. Addressing non-compliance: Steps to take

In the event of non-compliance, cooperative members have several courses of action:

Internal dialogue:

It is always advisable to first try to resolve conflicts through dialogue with the cooperative’s board of directors. Clearly and argumentatively stating the points of disagreement can allow for solutions without resorting to higher instances.


When internal dialogue is not enough, mediation can be a solution. A professional mediator will act as a bridge between the parties to try to reach an agreement.


If an agreement is not reached, arbitration can be a faster and cheaper solution than the judicial route. An arbitrator will issue a ruling that will be binding on both parties.

Legal action:

When the above options have not resolved the conflict, the judicial route remains. This process can be longer and more expensive, but sometimes it is the only way to enforce the rights of cooperative members.


5. Prevention: The key to success

The best way to avoid conflicts is to prevent them:

  • Clear documentation: A well-drafted contract detailing the commitments of all parties and establishing consequences in case of breach is essential.
  • Constant legal advice: A law firm with experience in real estate law, like Quikprokuo, can provide invaluable advice to ensure that the cooperative always operates within the legal framework.



Housing cooperatives can be a great option, but they can also present challenges. At Quikprokuo, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of cooperative members and ensuring that every step they take is backed by the law. If you find yourself in the middle of a conflict with your cooperative or are simply seeking advice, do not hesitate to contact us.