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"Squatters" in CE

"Squatters" in CE

Old Apr 12th 2021, 1:04 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by neil77 View Post
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'?
Our case is still not closed after 3 years but the tenant has been evicted . There is the small matter of us having to pay his 4.8k in solicitor/court costs for the 1st failed court case in trying to evict him (our previous lawyer used the incorrect eviction process). We do not have the monies to pay him (in fact we refuse to just out of principle) and have paid our new lawyer 1k to appeal against this debt because he owes us 11k in our successful 2nd court eviction case .

We therefore had to pay 1k to legally try and get our debt offset against his - you couldn't make this up!!!!
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 1:21 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

If you fail to pay the utility bills and have the electricity/gas/water cut off for non-payment the squatters can prosecute you through the courts . The chances of them doing that might be slim because it can take years but note that the greedy abogados know they will win the case and offer them preferential rates. If they decide to go through the courts you could end up having to pay several thousands in euros.

The European Courts need to standardise squatter eviction laws across the EU and then make Spain comply with them. I'd rather not wait and just get rid of our property (which is now in a dismal state of disrepair and in a filthy condition) as soon as possible . Then say goodbye to Spain forever!!!
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 1:35 pm
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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!
The lawyers cannot be trusted and rather the 'squatters rights' laws remain because its a good source of income . Our lawyer was sympathising with our tenant saying he was just a poor man looking to live for free. Lol!

On one hand the lawyer says the tenant/squatter is using every trick in the book to avoid eviction , but it is obvious to me that its the lawyers using every trick in their 'crooked' laws to help them avoid eviction. Crazy!!!
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by DOWNANDOUT View Post
If you fail to pay the utility bills and have the electricity/gas/water cut off for non-payment the squatters can prosecute you through the courts . The chances of them doing that might be slim because it can take years but note that the greedy abogados know they will win the case and offer them preferential rates. If they decide to go through the courts you could end up having to pay several thousands in euros.

The European Courts need to standardise squatter eviction laws across the EU and then make Spain comply with them. I'd rather not wait and just get rid of our property (which is now in a dismal state of disrepair and in a filthy condition) as soon as possible . Then say goodbye to Spain forever!!!
What I meant is that you cut off the electricity at the property. You will still pay the standing charge and without electricity the squatters will hardly last long. There are also many ways you could disconnect water, which would again make the property undesirable for the squatter. Of course this is easier when you have a house and your situation was very different, it is at least an option though.
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 6:30 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by DOWNANDOUT View Post
If you fail to pay the utility bills and have the electricity/gas/water cut off for non-payment the squatters can prosecute you through the courts . The chances of them doing that might be slim because it can take years but note that the greedy abogados know they will win the case and offer them preferential rates. If they decide to go through the courts you could end up having to pay several thousands in euros.

The European Courts need to standardise squatter eviction laws across the EU and then make Spain comply with them. I'd rather not wait and just get rid of our property (which is now in a dismal state of disrepair and in a filthy condition) as soon as possible . Then say goodbye to Spain forever!!!
Im gobsmacked. I legally disconnect supply to my home, and can be prosecuted for not paying their utilities!! After they occupied my property illegally!! They use our home, our beds and furniture, all our appliances, clothes etc etc.... And they are protected. Whilst I have to also pay for it.

Crazy. !!!

Where is the logic in this!!!
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

But why would the government condone and even protect these criminals with 'rights'? To do so is to the detriment of Spain, its going to put off tourists and investors who would buy more properties and inject lots of much needed cash into spain? It just goes to show how they cant think straight! What possible advantage could there be to allow squatters??
Unless of course, it saves the government millions in providing 'social housing' for the homeless or 'less fortunate'?
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 11:09 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by Jon-Bxl View Post
Im gobsmacked. I legally disconnect supply to my home, and can be prosecuted for not paying their utilities!! After they occupied my property illegally!! They use our home, our beds and furniture, all our appliances, clothes etc etc.... And they are protected. Whilst I have to also pay for it.

Crazy. !!!

Where is the logic in this!!!
There is a good recent article below which shows how corrupt Spain has become. It will all end in tears when foreign investment is driven elsewhere.

Squatters in Sitges leave after owner pays extortion money (spanishpropertyinsight.com)

Squatters in Spain, and how to avoid adverse possession (spanishpropertyinsight.com)

Note what the article says about utility bills and other issues.

"If you call the police too late, you will find yourself locked in a slow and costly judicial process to get the squatters out. During that time you have to continue paying the utility bills, because if you cut off the water and electricity, the squatters will report you to the police, and you risk being charged with intimidation and coercion."

"If and when you do finally get them evicted, who knows how much damage they will have done to your property. I have heard stories of owners finding their property gutted and trashed when they finally got it back.
"

"It also shows that the squatter business model is lucrative for everyone but owners. The squatters do well, the anti-okupa companies do well, lawyers do well, locksmiths do well, alarm companies do well, and the police don’t have to get involved, which no doubt they are happy about. "

Last edited by DOWNANDOUT; Apr 12th 2021 at 11:38 pm.
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 11:30 pm
  #38  
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by neil77 View Post
But why would the government condone and even protect these criminals with 'rights'? To do so is to the detriment of Spain, its going to put off tourists and investors who would buy more properties and inject lots of much needed cash into spain? It just goes to show how they cant think straight! What possible advantage could there be to allow squatters??
Unless of course, it saves the government millions in providing 'social housing' for the homeless or 'less fortunate'?
Unfortunately I think the real reason is your last sentence. There is no other way then to try and make landlords pay for their dire social housing crisis.
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Old Apr 13th 2021, 6:13 am
  #39  
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by DOWNANDOUT View Post
There is a good recent article below which shows how corrupt Spain has become. It will all end in tears when foreign investment is driven elsewhere.

Squatters in Sitges leave after owner pays extortion money (spanishpropertyinsight.com)

Squatters in Spain, and how to avoid adverse possession (spanishpropertyinsight.com)

Note what the article says about utility bills and other issues.

"If you call the police too late, you will find yourself locked in a slow and costly judicial process to get the squatters out. During that time you have to continue paying the utility bills, because if you cut off the water and electricity, the squatters will report you to the police, and you risk being charged with intimidation and coercion."

"If and when you do finally get them evicted, who knows how much damage they will have done to your property. I have heard stories of owners finding their property gutted and trashed when they finally got it back.
"

"It also shows that the squatter business model is lucrative for everyone but owners. The squatters do well, the anti-okupa companies do well, lawyers do well, locksmiths do well, alarm companies do well, and the police don’t have to get involved, which no doubt they are happy about. "
Wow!! I'm stunned. Thank you for this DOWNANDOUT

The title of the very next paragraph to your quote is
Second-home owners are a soft target for squatter mafias
Its also telling that these articles come from a Spanish property magazine.!

I'm thinking the water and electricity come into distribution boxes outside. I'm guessing to safely access or change the utility meters for each home there is a cut off outside?

If we cut off electricity, water etc at the distribution box, on leaving. Then if they break open the box - surely its not us liable? I'm sure our caretaker would open the box for us to do this.

Squatters cant expect to get extra "government supported 'coddling' " (using our money to pay for their usage) if they have to vandalise the outside in order to get services, that were not on when they broke in.

Adding to that point... :-


We always switch off all supplies on leaving, never leave food in the freezer. We have changed the mains water supply valve (the old one was rubbish), we could put a locked security box around it. I suppose we could install a new power switch too before the fusebox (as Missile suggested) but a sledgehammer or chiselling it out would give them access. This would be an act of vandalism in our home, and in any 'normal' country..... illegal.

Surely this would also bypass this stupid 'right' that the squatters have (to force us to also pay for their utilities). IE Vandalising the home to get to the 'switch' that controls incoming supplies that were not on when they broke in. ??

What a mess,

Jon

Last edited by Jon-Bxl; Apr 13th 2021 at 6:24 am.
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Old Apr 13th 2021, 6:57 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by Jon-Bxl View Post
Wow!! I'm stunned. Thank you for this DOWNANDOUT

The title of the very next paragraph to your quote is
Second-home owners are a soft target for squatter mafias
Its also telling that these articles come from a Spanish property magazine.!

I'm thinking the water and electricity come into distribution boxes outside. I'm guessing to safely access or change the utility meters for each home there is a cut off outside?

If we cut off electricity, water etc at the distribution box, on leaving. Then if they break open the box - surely its not us liable? I'm sure our caretaker would open the box for us to do this.

Squatters cant expect to get extra "government supported 'coddling' " (using our money to pay for their usage) if they have to vandalise the outside in order to get services, that were not on when they broke in.

Adding to that point... :-


We always switch off all supplies on leaving, never leave food in the freezer. We have changed the mains water supply valve (the old one was rubbish), we could put a locked security box around it. I suppose we could install a new power switch too before the fusebox (as Missile suggested) but a sledgehammer or chiselling it out would give them access. This would be an act of vandalism in our home, and in any 'normal' country..... illegal.

Surely this would also bypass this stupid 'right' that the squatters have (to force us to also pay for their utilities). IE Vandalising the home to get to the 'switch' that controls incoming supplies that were not on when they broke in. ??

What a mess,

Jon
I think one has to look at the type of squatter and If the squatter originally moved in legally (unauthorised occupant), then you can't just turn off all supplies. This can be the case when you have a rental agreement and they won't move out. If they break in and you never had a rental agreement with the group, this is not illegal if you switched off your electricity. If you had a really strong safe type security box and other ways to block them turning it on, it's still better than nothing. Having a camera like this installed https://reolink.com/off-grid-securit...-buying-guide/ and switching off supplies makes sense.
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Old Apr 13th 2021, 7:45 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

This thread should be pinned to the top of the Spain forum and marked as "compulsory" reading for all intending to buy property in Spain

.
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Old Apr 13th 2021, 8:06 am
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Hi All
To my understanding there is this new law which (from september 2020) makes it much easier to get rid of squatters. Here are some first texts from an article in Fotocasa. (You will find the link below, but it´s in Spanish)
-" Through this new procedure, from the month of September of this year the Civil Guard and the National Police will be able to expel those persons who have committed burglary without resorting to judicial measures, as has happened to date. One of the main novelties of this instruction is that the 48-hour period that the forces of order had to wait to proceed with the eviction is eliminated. Now, if the crime is considered flagrant and the owner of the property proves that it legitimately belongs to him and that he does not allow anyone to be inside, the agents may expel the squatters, and may even arrest them, without the need to request judicial measures.

-" The Ministry of the Interior assures that this protocol aims to prevent, in addition to squatting itself, the appearance and consolidation of organizations and criminal groups dedicated to the usurpation of houses in order to rent or sell them fraudulently, through false contracts; a practice that has increased in recent years and has created a parallel illegal real estate market that is very difficult to control.

-" In addition to the speed with which the security forces will be able to vacate a property, this new law has another novelty: it also protects SECOND HOMES, which were previously even more unprotected than the first ones; In both, the same eviction procedure may be followed, the steps of which have been very well defined in this protocol.

Here´s the link
https://www.fotocasa.es/blog/comprav...ey-anti-ocupa/

You cannot advertise on the forum so your comment has been removed

Best regards
Thomas

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Old Apr 13th 2021, 1:41 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
I think one has to look at the type of squatter and If the squatter originally moved in legally (unauthorised occupant), then you can't just turn off all supplies. This can be the case when you have a rental agreement and they won't move out. If they break in and you never had a rental agreement with the group, this is not illegal if you switched off your electricity. If you had a really strong safe type security box and other ways to block them turning it on, it's still better than nothing. Having a camera like this installed https://reolink.com/off-grid-securit...-buying-guide/ and switching off supplies makes sense.
Thanks again for the information.

Its galling when I hear this "If the squatter originally moved in legally (unauthorised occupant"..) because somehow its 'legal'. ( NOT your definition, you are just explaining the rules ,- thank you)

But my post was to try a solution. Im not switching off anything because a squatter is there. Im switching off every time Im not there. And protecting the switch with a secure box

In the unlikely event that a squatter arrives, and has to vandalise my place to have services, I dont think I should pay his usage. Because all was securely switched off to begin with
Surely this is ok, and outside the bounds of rental agreements etc?

Also where we live, Ive seen places with security bars in front of doors... these are not allowed under the community rules, without permission and [size=13px]vote[/size] from an AGM. This takes forever, so people break the 'rules'... But it doesn't bother me to see a neat and [size=13px]proper security protection. [/size] After all its not unusual to have door and eindow security bars in Spanish homes....

​​​​​​​Jon
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Old Apr 13th 2021, 1:41 pm
  #44  
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
I think one has to look at the type of squatter and If the squatter originally moved in legally (unauthorised occupant), then you can't just turn off all supplies. This can be the case when you have a rental agreement and they won't move out. If they break in and you never had a rental agreement with the group, this is not illegal if you switched off your electricity. If you had a really strong safe type security box and other ways to block them turning it on, it's still better than nothing. Having a camera like this installed https://reolink.com/off-grid-securit...-buying-guide/ and switching off supplies makes sense.
Thanks again for the information.

Its galling when I hear this "If the squatter originally moved in legally (unauthorised occupant"..) because somehow its 'legal'. ( NOT your definition, you are just explaining the rules ,- thank you)

But my post was to try a solution. Im not switching off anything because a squatter is there. Im switching off every time Im not there. And protecting the switch or supply valve with a secure box

In the unlikely event that a squatter arrives, and has to vandalise my place to have services, I dont think I should pay his usage. Because all was securely switched off to begin with
Surely this is ok, and outside the bounds of rental agreements etc?

Likewise if we switch off at the distribution box outside (if possible)... Then the squatters have to vandalise them to have power.... As per my last post. Surely their "rights" are not applicable in this case???

Also where we live, Ive seen places with security bars in front of doors... these are not allowed under the community rules, without permission and vote from an AGM. This takes forever, so people break the 'rules'... But it doesn't bother me (at all) to see a neat and proper security protection. After all its not unusual to have door and window security bars in Spanish homes....

Jon
PS it's often the Spanish that install these... They know the score!

Last edited by Jon-Bxl; Apr 13th 2021 at 1:54 pm.
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Old Apr 13th 2021, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: "Squatters" in CE

Originally Posted by Jon-Bxl View Post
Also where we live, Ive seen places with security bars in front of doors... these are not allowed under the community rules, without permission and vote from an AGM. This takes forever, so people break the 'rules'... But it doesn't bother me (at all) to see a neat and proper security protection. After all its not unusual to have door and window security bars in Spanish homes....

Jon
PS it's often the Spanish that install these... They know the score!
One of the most notable features I have seen is the preponderance of these security bars in Spain, yet a few kilometers away in Portugal they cease to exist.
I have no idea of the situation near the French border,
But this in itself should be a warning of the as to the state of play in Spain.
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