Expat landlord holds protest against tenant who hasn’t paid rent for years

LAST UPDATED: 12 Jan, 2015 @ 11:54
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Expat landlord holds protest against tenant who hasn’t paid rent for years

EXCLUSIVE: By Rob Horgan

AN expat landlord has held an unprecedented one-man protest against a tenant who hasn’t paid rent for two years.

David Lomas, 66, took to the streets over €10,000 in unpaid rent at the home in Campilllos.

Followed by his four children – aged between six and 12 – Lomas marched from the three-bedroom property to the town hall to ‘demand justice’.

Lomas, from Middlesbrough, is at the end of his tether after the Spanish tenant started ‘breeding hundreds of birds’ at the home.

The pair have been involved in a legal tussle since the local man stopped paying rent in December 2012.

Despite filing denuncias and enlisting help from a lawyer a court date is still forthcoming. A provisional date set for April was postponed after the Spaniard appealed.

Builder Lomas, who lives in the town, said: “The point of the protest is to embarrass him. It is peaceful and is as much against the town hall, which has been totally unhelpful.

One man protest - David
David Lomas protesting outside the town hall

“I don’t think I will ever see the money he owes me, all I want now is to have my house back so I have something to give my kids when they grow up.”

The former Merchant Navy sailor insists his family has been ‘ripped apart’ by the ongoing situation but said he will not roll over.

“My wife and I have separated because of it and the stress has been unbearable. The whole situation is heart-breaking for everyone involved,” he said.

“He thinks I am just going to give in and go away so that he can claim the house for himself. That will never happen, I will never give in.”

When confronted at the property, the Spanish tenant confirmed that he sells birds but refused to comment further.

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18 COMMENTS

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  1. Everyone is told that the eviction process is straightforward in Spain, but you are at the mercy of a legal system that is simply not fit for purpose, as this case clearly demonstrates. Get a tenant at your peril (in Spain) – it’s just not worth the hassle.

  2. You will never get them out if you stick to conventional methods, a late night visit from some hired heavies to physically throw him out is a much cheaper and quicker option.

  3. Dave,
    Ian R is right, You need a plan,think outside the box!
    The Tenant will have to leave the house at some time.
    Covert 24 hr watch over a week with some mates and get
    in when coast is clear!
    Maybe pay a Spanish geezer to call offering Free Birds
    if collected from a dodgy address miles away!
    Dont be a mug by wasting time protesting Dave, he,s
    laughing at the Gringo, A fox gets crafty when he needs
    to get in the chicken pen!

  4. I feel desperately sorry for this family, it sounds like they have been through hell. Two years without any rent and still not able to evict this person – madness. This is yet another example of a foreigner being let down by the dangerously useless Spanish “judicial” system. Residential letting in Spain has now been revealed as yet another thing to avoid – the list goes on doesn’t it?

    I do hope he gets the house back soon but I fear it will be in a dreadful state when he does. Suggestions of “sending the boys round” are not half bad – what’s the alternative, waiting around for years like a mug and still not getting the house back? I wish him the very best of luck.

  5. Tenants have rights, lots of rights, so beware. A friend of mine cut off the water and electric to his non-paying tenants flat, only to be served a denuncia for removing basic services from the tenant. When you live in the banana republic of Europe this is what you face unfortunately.

  6. I have evicted a few people in the UK to help some friends out in years gone by. This is what I would do, when he leaves, change the locks, let his birds fly out the door and chuck his goods in the road. I also slept in the property after doing the above with a Rottweiler and some gadgets and ‘saw them off’ when they tried to break in at 3am. They never came back. If that does not work, get him attacked outside a few times and he will get the message if he is that thick.

  7. What a load of Xenophobic rubbish the same happens in England. why not stay there and be ripped off by defaulting British tenants.

  8. On the contrary Frank, the same does not happen in England. I was forced to evict tenants from a property I own in the UK after they stopped paying rent. Eviction was straightforward and at the same time I made a Money Claim through the small claims court for the outstanding amount. They were out and I had the outstanding rent paid all within 3 months.

  9. The small claims system in the UK is also so easy to invoke and access. Just go online, pay a small fee, and a court order is served on the party in a few days. If only Spain could work like that, it just seems to be totally beyond their comprehension.

  10. Frank, I think that is wishful thinking. Sorry to disappoint you but this never happens in the UK, we have laws that deal with this type of thing effectively. We had to evict a tenant in the UK about 11 years ago and from the time they stopped paying the rent to the actual eviction took about 6 months.

    Things have since moved on in the UK and nowadays it is very easy to take out landlord insurance which covers loss of rental income and legal fees in the event of an eviction and most insurance companies even offer their own in-house lawyers and support staff to do the work for you. It is a very good service and only costs about £120 per year.

  11. This is an unfortunate story of a terrible law for tenants rights here. The majority of landlords will not come across this, and unlucky percentage will.

    Be sensible (certainly don’t follow REAP’s advice and ‘attack’ people) but don’t live in FEAR in Spain, otherwise return to the nice and cosy trouble-free United Kingdom.

    Don’t have a negative ex-pat attitude here either, or you will LOSE. It’s not your country.

  12. I agree that there are the same sort of scumbags in the UK but it is easier and cheaper to get them out. You usually have a choice of tenants too not taking anyone through desperation.

  13. Derek, so, just leave him there as the law does not work? 2 years not enough? As a minimum, cut the electric and water off for starters. Funny how your answer to everything is that if you don’t like it go back to the UK, and only small percentage will have a problem. I remember you stating that you did not know anyone that had their house knocked down so it is only a small amount and it is nothing to worry about!! Do you give all this advice for free in the bars?

  14. “Don’t have a negative ex-pat attitude here either, or you will LOSE. It’s not your country.”

    What does it have to do with ex-pat attitude? The guy has waited 2 years for his rent. It’s nothing whatsoever to do with being an ex-pat; it is obly to do with getting timely justice (indeed any justice). Oh I forgot, in Derek’s part of the world everyone pays their rent and these issues never arise. The reality is of course very different and this issue is commonplace here. If you live under a rock, like Derek, you never see the real world.

  15. Tenants appear to have more rights than the landlord. Our tenants in the UK stopped paying rent and it took us 4 months to get them out and over a year to recover a small amount of what was owed

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