Expat’s home in Spain caves in

LAST UPDATED: 29 Mar, 2012 @ 21:19
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Expat’s home in Spain caves in

By James Bryce

AN expat fears his whole house could collapse after a huge crater swallowed part of his property.

Martin Wade, 41, from Fuente-Nueva near Orce, has been forced to move out of his cave home indefinitely after the six-metre deep hole opened up in December.

Wade, who lives with his girlfriend, blames the problem on faulty pipework in the property below and has denounced the builder responsible for the work.

But both the builder and the town hall have refused to accept responsibility for the problem and the couple have been told they will have to contribute to the cost of repairs.

“The whole house could disappear, we don’t feel it will ever be habitable again,” Wade told the Olive Press.

“We’ve been left homeless, jobless and penniless, we’ve lost everything and no one is interested in helping us,” added the mechanic, who relies on the property’s electricity supply for his work.

The couple have been forced to place all of their belongings into storage half an hours drive away and are renting a property as a short-term solution.

“The whole cave is becoming increasingly unstable. I’m dreading having more rain.”

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11 COMMENTS

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  1. I think maybe some caves should never be allowed to be reformed ! I feel for these people who probably bought it in good faith ! we live in a cave house and are pleased we did not buy with caves above us or below ! and paid a little bit more !!

  2. Prior to their purchase, was there a licensed/insured Surveyor used to Certify the property was structurally sound? Caveat Emptor!! In Spain, the term “responsibilty or accountability” is not frequently used by many (but not all) Abogados, Town Halls and even Notarios.
    A sad case, for sure.

  3. Very sad story indeed. Unfortunately they only have themselves to blame for obviously not having the purchase conducted by a solicitor. Tempted by a bargain that sounded too good to be true, and cutting corners has come back to bite them. For sure they will not get any help from any of the people that they have bad mouthed. This is their second and biggest mistake.

  4. Does anyone know the complete structual condition of the land around their house? The land here in Andalucia has massive erosion problems and land collapses are common; just look at the inland roads for evidence.

    No mention has been made of the legality of the house, but I doubt a survey was done. Ignorance is not a defence for everything (except in Louie’s case of course) but at the end of the day, it’s impossible to know everything about a house and the land it stands on. In Spain one must therefore exercise extra caution, as proper building practices are so shockingly poor, as of course we all know…

  5. My 26 years of living in Spain has taught me that employing ONE Abogado is a waste ofd money, you need at least 2, the second to make sure that the first is doing what you are paying them to do. I have been in a meeting where a Denia based Abogado promised to send a “Cedula de Habitabilidad” to the purchasers solicitor that night “It was on my desk when I was preparing to come here” – despite one never having been issued.

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