EU probes Spanish demolition orders

LAST UPDATED: 27 Feb, 2011 @ 09:46
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EU probes Spanish demolition orders

THE EU is to investigate the issue of demolition orders slapped on foreign property owners in Spain.

It comes after Spain launched a multi-million euro promotional drive to try and encourage British buyers back to the country.

Now the EU is beginning to formerly address the legality of demolition orders, which have led to hundreds of homes being pulled down.

The European Union’s Charter for Fundamental Rights allows the right of legal redress and swift justice.

Former Eastenders actor Michael Cashman MEP, who lobbied for the Charter to tackle the issue, has been fighting against the bulldozing of people’s homes and ‘land grab’ laws for years.

Cashman told the Olive Press that he was ‘horrified’ after receiving numerous pleas from Andalucia residents every year who are being robbed of their homes.

Cashman claims the Spanish government has been slow to act and keeps passing the buck to regional authorities, severely damaging foreign property investment for the future.

‘Spain needs to restore faith and confidence amongst property buyers,’ Cashmen said.

17 COMMENTS

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  1. Why has such a serious matter, that affects so many of our EU citizens from a variety of countries, taken so long to reach the attention of the powers that be?

    Let’s hope they act on it quickly and put an end to the misery this disgusting situation is causing, on a daily basis, to ordinary people.

  2. Spain is still a third world country in many respects. Land Grab, selling unlicensed properties, and corrupt lawyers, have caused mayhem in this country. ´Living the Dream´ has become a nightmare for many people, and it is time Spain got it´s house in order. Passing the buck, is quite typical, but surely the buck has to stop somewhere. In my mind, the corruption started with the Junta de Andalucia, and worked it´s way down. They were all involved, so surely someone, somewhere has to correct this?? A shrug of the shoulders and a ´no es mi problema´ just ain´t enough when thousands of people have lost their savings by investing in a corrupt society!

  3. whatever they do its too little too late for many, i have returned from spain last year after six years of legal argument over demolition of my property, with the town hall of mijas, this was while my neighbour continues building in a protected zone, which they are calling it now, when your bestfriend is the mayor its a licence to do what you want, it is insulting, and they maybe at last realising what the exodus has been about, every person i speak to here i advise them NEVER BUY A PROPERTY IN SPAIN, and i am sure i am not the only one……………

  4. It’s unbelievable how the Spanish government failed to act to address this before the EU. It has absolutely zero relevance to most buyers in Spain but it’s been left to affect the whole market. We still get many prospective buyers asking if there is any chance all the Polaris World resorts will be bulldozed.

  5. I live in an illegal build my property wont be knocked down because I am on urbanizable land instead I can be legal if we are prepared to pay 70,000 euros for services including mains water,just where do we find money like that.

  6. The EU should also investigate Spain for a little game they intend to play with the largely foreign investors over the legalisation of SO CALLED ‘illegal properties’.

    Demolishing so many properties has always been a white elephant as it was never going to happen (not for the majority anyway). The announcement has come about because Spain is in trouble financially and it is nothing more than a ‘damage limitation exercise’ because soon the Spanish are off to the UK to stand bare-faced in front of the British public at specially designed Road Shows to try and offload what remains of the unsold and out of proportion housing stock which I remind everyone, is in fact largely owned by the banks and the government as it is their money that is at stake. I can just see them standing there all smug trying assure the British Public that all is now well and that the problem of ‘illegal properties’ only exists in the case of a few; I say that just one property to be demolished when purchased in ‘good faith’, is ONE TOO MANY.

    Don’t forget that many of us still have land and property issues not covered in the legalisation.

    Ask yourself – who is going to pay for the legalisation?

    My message is DON’T BUY IN SPAIN until you’ve satisfied yourself that Spain has addressed All its current building problems and put right everything that is wrong – chances are they never will – don’t say we didn’t tell you so.

    Watch Out Spain is coming the the UK to sell you its problem.

  7. M in Spain,
    would’nt it be a good idea to alert the media both press and TV to this scenario.

    Also it would help matters to get experienced construction people to go along to these shows and ask if these Spanish built houses conform to N. European safety Regs / what the U factors are – they won’t have a clue and the first show will be the last if the media attend to witness all this – just a thought.

  8. There’s a distinct difference between the glut of properties that Spain is trying of offload at UK Roadshows and the issue regarding the SO CALLED ‘illegal’ properties (soon to be legalised). Spain is trying to offload the big complexes and unsold estates which are financed by the banks and the spanish government. They are not trying to sell the soon ‘to be legalised’, ‘illegal’ properties, most of which are privately owned properties that already exist on rural/rustic land.

    The UK public need to know that they are not the same issue and one cleverly planned and timely announcement is not fair nor responsible to the unsuspecting UK public. The EU needs to act quickly and ask Spain to clarify the substance behind the ‘legalisation’, the time scale involved, the cost of it and who Spain proposes will pay for it.

    It is my belief that if left to the owners themselves to pay for their properties ‘to be legalised’ here in Spain, then how many are going to want to stump up the money (if they can that is). Given this senario the ‘legalisation’ won’t in fact take place and then Spain will be in a position to blame the owners for not seizing the opportunity?

    And what of the scenario where rural/rustic land has been urbanised but antique laws remain regarding rights of way – how do you legalise that property without changing other land laws? The true complexity of the problems behind our property and land purchases in Spain has not yet unfolded in a manner in which we truly understand the mistakes we have made in our ignorance in understanding foreign property and land purchase. It’s a costly and sad experience the sentiment of which the UK public should now imagine themselves in should they be hooked in at the forthcoming Roadshows.

  9. This is very true. A lot of issues are being fudged here.

    No-where have I seen the Spanish Government address the issue of the rampant wave of rip-off estate agent/developer/lawyer/architect/bank gangsters that have blighted many parts of Southern Spain leaving a trail of half-built and empty urbanizations – the real property that they want to palm off on the foreigners.

    As you say, the now well-publicised illegal builds are normally privately owned and it is the owners of these properties that have brought their issues to the attention of the media – presumably the reason why the Spanish Government is doing something about it. So, of course, these aren’t the properties to foisted onto the hapless foreigners.

    Even those urbanizations that manage to wangle a First Occupation License will find few buyers interested. Changes need to be made across the board before foreigners will trust in Spain again. Applying the laws of the land would be a good start but a great deal more needs to be done at all levels before people will have the confidence to buy in any numbers.

    I like the campaign to remove corrupt politicians. I understand it’s doing rather well. One wonders though – if it is truly successful, how many politicians will actually be left…

  10. What needs to be demolished and what is really illegal shudl be the questions that people should be asking here. The building permit process has been a joke for the most part in spain as it was more effective for spanish people to just build and pay the fine than go through the beaurocratic nightmare of getting proper permits even in the most simple of construction projects. So it became common practise for spanish people to just build with no permit and pay the fine to legalise it.
    But when we are talking large developments, built by large companies all made up of “professionals”. This is where the problems come and where all that unsold realestate is.
    The spanish government appears to be trying to tarr everyone with the same brush. When it is the spanish beaurocracy that is largly to blame.

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