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"Squatters" in CE

"Squatters" in CE

Old Apr 9th 2021, 8:23 am
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Default "Squatters" in CE

Hi

I've been hearing that this is happening increasingly in CE.

With all the empty properties and travel bans for non full time residents, there are loads of empty homes of course. Add financial problems with the lockdown and salaries affected, etc etc, this could become a growing problem
Has anyone seen this, please?

Also does anyone know about the legal protection either owners or" squatters" have in Spain, please?

Ive used " " as I dont know the politically correct terminology.

Thanks

Jon

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Old Apr 9th 2021, 10:47 am
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Thumbs up Re: "Squatters" in CE

Touch wood Jon I've always felt that Marina Esuri was quite a safe lock up and leave. Mainly because of the number of full time Spanish residents living there and quite a number of Guardia Civil officers living there as well. Most Portal entrances of six apartments usually have at least one full time resident and some portals are gated as well giving an extra level of security. In my opinion it would be too obvious if squatters broke in. That said about 4 years ago an elderly couple arrived at their flat on ME to find the locks changed and someone living there very discretely claiming he was renting it. Apparently a bent locksmith had been sent around to gain entry looking all above board and changed the lock barrels. Not sure what happened to the illusive lettings agent. Personally, I would have thought a much easier target would be the "Sun & Sea" apartments although not that many actually owned and furnished. Unless a squatter was living like a hermit I think our crew of consierge /gardeners would notice someone who should not be there. I think the risks of being seen are too high compared to other communities, hence I think we are as safe as can be. LET'S HOPE SO. I might add that the front doors and mechanisms to ME apartments are quite good, BUT the lock barrels are NOT. Easy to break in with a jump key. You need to replace the barrel with a high security type to make life difficult. ( details by PM)
P.s. Nowadays, energy and water consumption would also show up on our online accounts fairly quickly giving the game away.

Roll on summer...........Keith
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Old Apr 9th 2021, 10:49 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

You might want to read this post? > Tenant Eviction Nightmare -Part 2 - British Expats
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Old Apr 9th 2021, 11:00 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

https://www.diariodehuelva.es/2017/0...-vendia-droga/

From 2017 but can always happen anywhere.
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Old Apr 9th 2021, 11:07 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Hi Missile. I stopped reading that thread months ago. It's too painful to comprehend and I just don't want to know anymore. The elderly couple on ME called the Guardia civil and they turfed him out despite the squatter saying he was legally renting. Apparently he was a chef somewhere in town. Strange if he was renting that he never used the outside terrace, or was ever seen. Blinds all shut etc. The funny thing is he had helped himself to the owners clothes and was actually wearing them when arrested. No one was prosecuted as far as I can recall.
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Old Apr 9th 2021, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Just received an email from Lomas admin to advise that squatters were trying to access a house (bank owned) however some lovely neighbours intervened and they were stopped. It is a worry for all of us who are desperate to get to our homes there and check all is ok. Fortunately, we have a friend who calls in and keeps an eye on the place but, obviously, unoccupied properties are going to be a magnet for homeless people.
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Old Apr 10th 2021, 7:08 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by keithBT View Post
Touch wood Jon I've always felt that Marina Esuri was quite a safe lock up and leave. Mainly because of the number of full time Spanish residents living there and quite a number of Guardia Civil officers living there as well. Most Portal entrances of six apartments usually have at least one full time resident and some portals are gated as well giving an extra level of security. In my opinion it would be too obvious if squatters broke in. That said about 4 years ago an elderly couple arrived at their flat on ME to find the locks changed and someone living there very discretely claiming he was renting it. Apparently a bent locksmith had been sent around to gain entry looking all above board and changed the lock barrels. Not sure what happened to the illusive lettings agent. Personally, I would have thought a much easier target would be the "Sun & Sea" apartments although not that many actually owned and furnished. Unless a squatter was living like a hermit I think our crew of consierge /gardeners would notice someone who should not be there. I think the risks of being seen are too high compared to other communities, hence I think we are as safe as can be. LET'S HOPE SO. I might add that the front doors and mechanisms to ME apartments are quite good, BUT the lock barrels are NOT. Easy to break in with a jump key. You need to replace the barrel with a high security type to make life difficult. ( details by PM)
P.s. Nowadays, energy and water consumption would also show up on our online accounts fairly quickly giving the game away.

Roll on summer...........Keith
Thanks Missile + Moses for the link. This is exactly why I started the thread.

Also Keith for the feedback that ME is probably quite safe.

However, the problems start when they get in ........ and decide to stay!. We've had burglaries in ME before, for example, even in the same block as where the Guardia Civil were living.

Its why I was curious about the rights of both the owners and "squatters" in the OP.

There may be problems with taking any action to 'turf them out' as they may have rights and the slightest action (physical or any other non-legal) could be prosecuted.

From what I've seen + heard, its a nightmare situation for the owners.

​​​​​​Finally, it seems that this is not a rumour on CE, and once it starts, it could continue...

Lets hope not. But changing the lock to a new high security barrel is a good idea

What a drag!

Jon
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Old Apr 11th 2021, 8:00 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

There were 2 cases this week where they were stopped or had only just gained entry by neighbours getting the police involved quickly. Guadia Civil have been patrolling most days . There seems to be a lot of old Portuguese cars around. I have been told that there is a law in Spain that during Covid times that protects the squatters from eviction after 24 hours.
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Old Apr 11th 2021, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by guesswork View Post
There were 2 cases this week where they were stopped or had only just gained entry by neighbours getting the police involved quickly. Guadia Civil have been patrolling most days . There seems to be a lot of old Portuguese cars around. I have been told that there is a law in Spain that during Covid times that protects the squatters from eviction after 24 hours.
That is very worrying, so after 24 hours they have free rein to live there ? Terrible!
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Old Apr 11th 2021, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Anyone know of a good, effective and highly visible alarm system, preferably monitored?

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Old Apr 11th 2021, 8:18 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by MikeJ View Post
Anyone know of a good, effective and highly visible alarm system, preferably monitored?
The only thing I know is that there is a company EU wide called Verisure. Jags resto-bar had alarms with them.

Theres all kinds of other off-the-shelf systems out there, but I don't know much about them. My friend set up a video surveillance system for his elderly parent who was ill and would leave the house at any time. With alerts etc. He could check in at any time on his phone, look at the video, even chat.... Of course this is diametrically opposite to someone breaking IN but I suppose the tech works both ways.
With us away, its difficult to see how we can arrange installation though... maybe its possible to arrange with a keyholder ... But... Tricky
Jon


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Old Apr 11th 2021, 8:27 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by MikeJ View Post
Anyone know of a good, effective and highly visible alarm system, preferably monitored?
https://moneysaverspain.com/alarm-systems-spain/

Securitas Direct have a good rep but of course cost if you want full coverage (but you get peace of mind)
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 2:28 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

To be honest , I wouldn't bother with alarms or security doors to prevent squatters unless you are willing to pay many thousands of euros. Until the Spanish government do something to protect homeowners, 'legal' squatting will become the norm. I think the far leftist parties are even blackmailing the government to make squatting legal.

I've heard that even if you report it to the Guardia Civil , most the of the time they won't investigate and advise you to go through the wonderfully efficient squatter biased corrupt judicial system. The squatters will then drag it out through the courts for 1-2 years by raising frequent appeals before you ultimately evict them (costing you 1-2k for solicitor plus another 1.7k for procurador costs + locksmith+ gas/water/electricity unpaid bills + they will trash your flat before they leave).

Okupas are very well organised , know how to get free legal aid , sack their lawyers frequently to delay court proceedings (ie. our 'tenant' sacked his lawyer 5 times and slowed court proceedings for 2 weeks for every sacking) and know they won't have to pay a penny. The money they might owe for free legal aid (if they lose their court case against eviction) gets annulled after 3 years if they prove their income is below some threshold. Also, you won't get paid for your court costs because they will have emptied their bank accounts and made sure any of their assets are passed to their friends and relatives (or stashed away somewhere).

As soon as they squat in a premises they usually create an account like a broadband line under their name and then use that bill to formerly register themselves as a legal resident in your property via the local town-hall . Once they do that you will have no other option but to go through the court system to evict them.

My family have decided we will not pay one more penny to legally evict any future squatters from our apartment .

The next time blood will be spilled !!!!

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Old Apr 12th 2021, 6:51 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

DOWNANDOUT why would lawyers represent these people if the chances of being paid are minimal?

Your last comment is the best advice
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 6:54 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

These stories are horrifying, and must be a terrible worry especially at these times when owners of holiday properties here cant travel to them, leaving them unoccupied and vulnerable to such 'occupations'. I have read up a little on this, and the Spanish Law is horrendous and archaic with regard to 'squatter's rights'. It is beyond comprehension that people can work hard all their lives and save their money to have a treat such as a holiday apartment or villa in this lovely part of the world, only for some scumbag to just move in and 'take it' more or less, without any cost to themselves. I know it's only fairly recently [in the grand scale of things] that the UK changed the laws. How can it be that what is really a burglar and thief, or family of them, can have 'rights', and can carry on using what they have essentially 'stolen' from another person, to the detriment and cost of the actual owner?

I have read that it's actually within 48 hours that you must get the police/guardia civil to attend the property in the case of intruders. But 24 or 48 hours makes no difference if they don't even bother once reported. There are some articles that have stated that over in the more tourist popular areas of the east of Spain, the local 'mafia' will put squatters into a property then blackmail the real owners for large sums of money to get them out! I also read that these 'squatters' are quite 'professional' in how they go about their crimes, and will watch a property for a day or so, and even set up utility accounts for that property, in their names before they even attempt to 'move in' to it. Also, they are so expert at it, that in under two hours they can gain access and move their belongings in and look like they've been there for weeks or months, should the guardia civil come calling.

I understand that squatters have actually taken 'residence' in a large detached villa in the north east of esuri, and others were luckily prevented from doing the same in the villa opposite it. I don't doubt that these 'squatters' communicate with each other and work together as 'teams'. What must the owners be going through with all this must be terrible, and all because the government allows it. With the laws as they are, and the court system protecting these criminals it will only be a matter of time until people go for the easier option and 'sort it themselves' and then that opens another 'can of worms'! But who could blame them when these criminals have more rights than the owners of the property, and the courts and laws actually protect the criminals!?

The Spanish government really needs to look at this and quickly, as they do rely on tourism for a substantial part of their revenue, and such ridiculous outdated laws giving criminals 'rights' is not going to encourage tourism or investment in local properties, and they really need that, especially after the recent colossal lack of tourist trade.

I asked a local lawyer about this, and was told 'it is up to the owners to sort out'. Unbelievable!

Last edited by neil77; Apr 12th 2021 at 6:59 am.
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