Outrageous and obsolete laws in Spain mean that if your home is invaded by squatters you have no right to make them leave!
There are approximately 87.000 squatters living in other peoples homes in Spain and its almost impossible to get them out!
As reported in the EWN recently there are some extremely dubious laws regarding property when it comes to squatters rights in Spain.
If your property is invaded, and they change the locks, (or even if they don’t), you’re up a gum tree as far as getting your home back, or anything that happens to be inside it without a long drawn out fight through the courts.
All they have to do is have something like internet installed and they have ‘proof of residence’ at your address!, they can then go to the social security and claim for benefits!
And even then you may run into further problems, if when the court order eventually comes through at great expense they simply put someone else in your home and the whole process starts again.
Knowing about these possibilities housekeepers Evelin and her husband, Gustavo had to resort to rather unusual tactics.
The villa (British owned), was taken over by a young couple (a 25 year old man and a 19 year old girl), had taken over the villa and were quite simply refusing to leave the 12 room villa in Xabia.
The owners had been about to come over but cancelled their trip when they were informed that their luxury holiday home had been invaded.
It can take literally years to get back the property in these circumstances because of draconian laws and even the fixtures and fittings and furniture can be lost in the process.
In this case the housekeepers had the idea to pay the squatters to leave, and it was only through very good negotiation skills that the squatters eventually agreed to go if they were handed cash to pay for 10 nights accommodation at a hostel in Xabia, the couple also demanded that they had a taxi wait for them at the door and even the tip for the driver came out of the pockets of the housekeepers.
It also had to be agreed that the denuncia that had been logged with the Guardia Civil had to be withdrawn, before the squatters would step foot outside the villa.
To make sure that they were not breaking any laws themselves by paying the couple to leave the housekeepers contacted their own lawyer to check, just in case.
After they had actually got them out of the villa, they set about making sure this couldn’t happen again, and although there was considerable damage in the home, and lots of unwashed and broken crockery, it could have been much worse.
The Locksmith who was fitting extremely strong new locks to the villa commented: “that he had been in other “squatted” houses that had been totally destroyed. “In some, squatters light bonfires inside, take furniture and lamps away, and pull out plugs and electrical wiring,” He said.
Work continued to effectively fortify the villa from further possible invasion, but Evelin said that she would never want to go through this nightmare again, she continued: I want to assure everyone that the British family that owns the chalet is looking forward to traveling to Xàbia to enjoy the holidays in their recovered home.
That’s the story, but surely this is something that has to be addressed by Government, this kind of thing cannot be allowed to continue.