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"Squatters" in CE

"Squatters" in CE

Old Apr 12th 2021, 7:40 am
  #16  
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by DOWNANDOUT View Post
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
My family have decided we will not pay one more penny to legally evict any future squatters from our apartment . {clip} .....................

The next time blood will be spilled !!!!
Surely prevention is better than cure. If you put sufficient visible deterrent and maybe frequent visits by a keyholder or management company, then potential squatters will try an easier target.?
I looked up Securitas Direct and their cost for full coverage and an average 15 minutes response to an alarm is around €29 pm (plus set up costs).. A DIY kit from AKI or Leroy Merlin will set you back around €1000 euros and will send an alarm to your smart phone - no ongoing charges of course.. This allows you to call the police or guardia within the 24-48 hour timescale - or call your keyholder/management company to check it out.
There was also a story I read on another forum about someone who was invaded by squatters who demanded a ransom of €5k euros to leave. I believe he finally negotiated that down to €3k ish. So the 'Spanish' way of dealing with it not through the courts can sometimes be more successful !


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Old Apr 12th 2021, 7:45 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by neil77 View Post
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!
Thanks DOWNANDOUT (I hope your forum name isn't as a result of your experiences)... and neil77. You both know this problem well.

Wow this is sobering and worrying. Especially if there is organised crime or just organised strategy here. It doesn't take a criminal mastermind to drive around and note the numerous empty properties in CE (right on the border) and after a second or subsequent visits choose their targets. Foreign based non-residents would also find it more difficult to manage from afar. Making it easier for this illegal (but legally protected) activity.

Especially in these times, where pandemic problems have created so many non-health problems as well.

Whilst the odds may be small of our homes being targeted - once word spreads, those odds increase. These days 'word' spreads so easily, with social media, mail, IT etc. As we see with illegal raves, protests (often violent where the 'renta-mob yobbos' get their kicks, regardless of the reason) ... Etc. Also this creates an increasing level of criminality in the area.

I think taking a non-legal physical approach is a bag of worms too. Also asking our wonderful town hall to do anything is a drag, as we've found from experience. Ask them increase police surveillance .. probably wont happen soon .. if at all!!

Also with the awful experience we had on buying, I wouldn't know where to even start with a good (or even reasonable) lawyer! neil77's last point really is "unbelievable"!!

Its disturbing for me, that there seems little to do but .... And that this isn't the first thread on the forum about this!!. Gosh the more you think about it the worse it gets!

After over a years lockdown, its our No1 priority to return, and we will within days.... But it would be crushing to be locked out of our own home.

Jon.

PS To move to solutions, from stating the problems..... On ME (at least) we used to have a security guard in a specially built guardhouse (still there) ... Id be more than happy to pay my bit extra for that - rather than a burglar alarm. It will also help reduce the non residents coming in and using the facilities in the summer and eg blocking the main gates open, or waiting outside for someone to come ... And following them in.

It could also increase property values.

However the guard needs to do hi/her job. When we had one at the beginning. He had to do his rounds at night and log in at boxes around ME as proof. I heard someone unscrewed these boxes, put them in the guardhouse, and the guard sat there just logging in!!

Last edited by Jon-Bxl; Apr 12th 2021 at 8:13 am.
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 8:06 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by Jon-Bxl View Post
Thanks DOWNANDOUT
[clipped]
Jon.

PS To move to solutions, from stating the problems..... On ME (at least) we used to have a security guard in a specially built guardhouse (still there) ... Id be more than happy to pay my bit extra for that - rather than a burglar alarm. It will also help reduce the non residents coming in and using the facilities in the summer and eg blocking the main gates open, or waiting outside for someone to come ... And following them in.

It could also increase property values.

However the guard needs to do his job. When we had one at the beginning. He had to do his rounds at night and log in at boxes around ME as proof. I heard someone unscrewed these boxes, put them in the guardhouse, and the guard sat there just logging in!!
I agree that a comprehensive intercommunity security system should be investigated = remote monitoring as well as (possibly) a physical guard. Security cameras at strategic points. As I said above Securitas Direct do offer these kind of services (and there are other large providers) We should ask the intercommuntity president to get some quotes and then work out how much it would caost each owner when spread across them all - I pretty sure it wouldn't amount to very much.
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 8:11 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Some good info here: https://www.barcelona-metropolitan.c...in-your-house/

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Old Apr 12th 2021, 8:46 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Once again thanks.

However, this is clearly a complex and upsetting process. Something that will probably take a fair amount of time to resolve. Who knows what you will eventually return to your home when they are gone

The fact that it is a second home, of course is less worrisome than a primary home... But for most people terribly upsetting. I fear this thinking of 'priority' will only delay the effort to resolve, especially as we are the foreigners as well (in this case).

As OP thanks to everyone, so far, for the valuable inputs. Always a positive on this forum. Looking forward to the discussion if/as it develops

Jon
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 9:20 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Hi Jon,
Vista Hermosa put on a security guard at the entrance a few months ago, low and behold there are about 7/8 cars started parking round the back and they are entering through a hole cut in the fence.
Just off to Decathlon to buy a baseball bat!
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 9:34 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Of course it's an upsetting process and probably not easy. A lot will depend what type of property we are talking about and if there are direct neighbours. One option might be to also destroy the electricity/water supply and that is probably the quickest (although not cheapest). If the squatters have no electricity and can't even charge their laptops and mobiles, they will likely move to the next place.
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 9:50 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
Of course it's an upsetting process and probably not easy. A lot will depend what type of property we are talking about and if there are direct neighbours. One option might be to also destroy the electricity/water supply and that is probably the quickest (although not cheapest). If the squatters have no electricity and can't even charge their laptops and mobiles, they will likely move to the next place.
Wow destroy... I would never thought of that!

But as I pay a standing charge, these arent my property, so I could be done for vandalism.

Perhaps an easier way is to send a registered letter to them, explaining that we have squatters and have cancelled the direct debit, and to disconnect the supply?

ThanksJon
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 10:05 am
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You could install a hidden isolation valve on the water supply and a breaker on the electricity.
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 10:27 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Good idea from missile. Just saying that if I was in that situation and didn't want a long process and an alternative to violence, cutting them off seems to be the only way. These squatters still want the comforts of home without paying rent, so with no running water and electricity they wouldn't see the benefit.
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 11:23 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
Good idea from missile. Just saying that if I was in that situation and didn't want a long process and an alternative to violence, cutting them off seems to be the only way. These squatters still want the comforts of home without paying rent, so with no running water and electricity they wouldn't see the benefit.
They would probably take you to court and secure a successful prosecution for denying them their human rights
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 11:40 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by Fredbargate View Post
They would probably take you to court and secure a successful prosecution for denying them their human rights
First of all they would have to prove that the owner cut them off and would then have to admit that they aren't the owners with no rental contract.
Don't forget that these squatters want the luxuries of modern day living and wouldn't last a day without their game console, otherwise they'd be living in caves.
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 12:30 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by Fredbargate View Post
DOWNANDOUT why would lawyers represent these people if the chances of being paid are minimal?

Your last comment is the best advice
They do get paid by the State, even if they lose . In fact they queue up on some register to take on these cases as its a good source of income .

The more the abogados can drag out the case, the more they can charge the State for their services (although any extortionate claims gets checked by the Courts Secretary).

If per chance you lose your eviction case (which happened to us on some technicality - incorrect process- our rubbish abogados was to blame ) , you pay the 'tenant/squatters' solicitor and court costs . In our case the tenants lawyer charged us over 3k while the court charged us 1.8k . We currently owe them 4.8k and haven't paid them (we can't as we spent all our monies on our own legal costs) so they are about to put an embargo on our property , then threaten to sell it off in an auction.
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by DOWNANDOUT View Post
They do get paid by the State, even if they lose . In fact they queue up on some register to take on these cases as its a good source of income .

The more the abogados can drag out the case, the more they can charge the State for their services (although any extortionate claims gets checked by the Courts Secretary).

If per chance you lose your eviction case (which happened to us on some technicality - incorrect process- our rubbish abogados was to blame ) , you pay the 'tenant/squatters' solicitor and court costs . In our case the tenants lawyer charged us over 3k while the court charged us 1.8k . We currently owe them 4.8k and haven't paid them (we can't as we spent all our monies on our own legal costs) so they are about to put an embargo on our property , then threaten to sell it off in an auction.
This sounds like a horror story one couldnt make up, and I do sympathise with you, totally. Terrible situation to be in, and at such times when you think the law and the judicial system is there to help you, and it does the complete opposite, it is totally unbelievable! Has your case concluded now, or is it still 'ongoing'?
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 12:57 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by Jon-Bxl View Post
Thanks DOWNANDOUT (I hope your forum name isn't as a result of your experiences)... and neil77. You both know this problem well.

Wow this is sobering and worrying. Especially if there is organised crime or just organised strategy here. It doesn't take a criminal mastermind to drive around and note the numerous empty properties in CE (right on the border) and after a second or subsequent visits choose their targets. Foreign based non-residents would also find it more difficult to manage from afar. Making it easier for this illegal (but legally protected) activity.

Especially in these times, where pandemic problems have created so many non-health problems as well.

Whilst the odds may be small of our homes being targeted - once word spreads, those odds increase. These days 'word' spreads so easily, with social media, mail, IT etc. As we see with illegal raves, protests (often violent where the 'renta-mob yobbos' get their kicks, regardless of the reason) ... Etc. Also this creates an increasing level of criminality in the area.

I think taking a non-legal physical approach is a bag of worms too. Also asking our wonderful town hall to do anything is a drag, as we've found from experience. Ask them increase police surveillance .. probably wont happen soon .. if at all!!

Also with the awful experience we had on buying, I wouldn't know where to even start with a good (or even reasonable) lawyer! neil77's last point really is "unbelievable"!!

Its disturbing for me, that there seems little to do but .... And that this isn't the first thread on the forum about this!!. Gosh the more you think about it the worse it gets!

After over a years lockdown, its our No1 priority to return, and we will within days.... But it would be crushing to be locked out of our own home.

Jon.

PS To move to solutions, from stating the problems..... On ME (at least) we used to have a security guard in a specially built guardhouse (still there) ... Id be more than happy to pay my bit extra for that - rather than a burglar alarm. It will also help reduce the non residents coming in and using the facilities in the summer and eg blocking the main gates open, or waiting outside for someone to come ... And following them in.

It could also increase property values.

However the guard needs to do hi/her job. When we had one at the beginning. He had to do his rounds at night and log in at boxes around ME as proof. I heard someone unscrewed these boxes, put them in the guardhouse, and the guard sat there just logging in!!
My thread was the 'Tenant Eviction Nightmare Part1 and Part2 ' which lasted nearly 3 years (that's how long it took to evict our tenant/squatters). Our tenant ended up subletting our flat to others on the cheap making a nice little sum. He was in cahoots with his mum (who was the President of the block ) and the 'Administrator' . We ended up paying 11k in solicitor/court costs but have refused to pay any outstanding electricity/water bills as it was contracted in the name of the tenant. Currently we haven't got a clue if the electricity/water has been cut off , whether the tenant and his squatter friends have broken back into our apartment , no idea who to contact with regards Comunidad payments (the President/Administrator seems to have done a 'runner').

I sent emails to the local police and Mayor stating that our lawyer is the only person who has the new keys to our flat (since the eviction) , therefore it is obvious that anyone who is found in our property has entered illegally. I asked the Mayor to contact her departments and refuse anyone who tries to register themselves as a legal resident in our property . The police haven't bothered to reply to my 4 emails , while the Mayor says they cannot refuse anyone to register as a legal resident in our property if they can produce a utility bill with their name and our property address .
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