Spanish parliament scrap plans to change property law

The proposals were planned to protect homeowners who ‘paid in good faith’ for ‘irregular homes’ constructed on illegal or protected land

LAST UPDATED: 3 Jun, 2015 @ 10:25
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demolitionPLANS to amend property law to protect purchasers from having their houses demolished have been thrown out by Spain’s upper house of parliament.  

The Senate controversially threw out proposals to protect homeowners who ‘paid in good faith’ for ‘irregular homes’ constructed on illegal or protected land.

Expat lobbying groups AUAN and SOHA have long campaigned for a change to Article 34 of the Mortgage Law which allows for irregular homes to be knocked down and no compensation given to the homeowner.

A SOHA spokesman said: “We have lost a grand opportunity to give all the citizens better judicial protection.

“It is difficult to explain, when all the parties are in agreement for the need for these legislative changes.”



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22 COMMENTS

  1. Just how dimwitted are they? We really thought we had got somewhere when this bill was originally passed are now we are back to square one. If this is how they run things, no wonder their economy is still in such a mess – you get the economy and property market you deserve.

    Now what was that story about inland property sales booming in the Guadalhorce Valley……

  2. This article should be re published on the fromt page of every major European newspaper so that European buyers are aware of what they might be getting into and hopefully shame the Spanish government into making changes.

  3. Spain is being totally stupid with the property market. Not only do they need to urgently change laws to protect purchasers from having their homes demolished, Spain needs to urgently remove capital gain tax from the sales of residential properties to kick start this market again. Sydney Australia is LOL with their property market – demand for property in Sydney – the other side of the world literally – is at record high levels because firstly there are good laws to protect purchasers from dodgy sellers and secondly there is no capital gains tax on the sale of residential homes. There is no excuse for Spain not to pass laws to protect purchasers from having their homes demolished – beyond words!

  4. Having read numerous complaints and comments, good comments I may add from people such as Jane and others regarding the plight of people involved with illegal building at no fault of their own appear to have fallen on deaf ears.

    But the countless complaints and comments between each other on the Olive Press resulted to nothing due the current reaction of the ludicrous stance of this Government.

    I cannot understand how governments from various country’s have not put strong pressure not only on the Spanish government but also at the EU. and UN.

    Perhaps a more dragon-eon method may bring some reality to the Spanish government if it was announced that all Spanish Nationals with properties in country’s of the EU would be confiscated and sold to compensate people that have had their property’s demolished. or about to be demolished.

    I know that may sound quite harsh but what other means have these poor people have just to get some form of justage.

  5. Jacko, you are right of course and yes, more pressure should be brought to bear particularly from the UK government. I do not have a so called illegal property in Spain (well not yet anyway) but I have joined SOHA to offer my support to the victims. I have written to my MP and MEP (who happens to be UKIP) on numerous occasions and would urge others to do the same, it could be your property next.

    I am sorry to say that I don’t hold out much hope for any meaningful change in Spain and would go as far as to say they could be going in the same direction as Greece. There is no political will for any fundamental change to make people’s lives better and free the place from endless bureaucracy and unworkable laws. I fear they are buried under the dead weight of corruption and outdated ideology.

    • Jane, no doubt if your property was illegal you would have heard by now and if it was a flat I don’t think you would have any worries. The place my partner had sold was a finca and was legal.

      • Most people do not even know when a house really legal in Spain. They think a bunch of local permits does the job…it doesn ” t. They believe having a “good” lawyer helps..it doesn”t. No one, exept the buyer, is responsible for any mistakes…There are more then 30.000 houses with a demolition order at this moment, and they are just warming up. I have lived there for 14 years, and still consider one of my best days in life..the day i sold my legal house and moved away from this African style corrupt country…where everybody, from low to high has corruption embedded in the education.

  6. Jane I agree the British Government could apply more pressure, through European channels too. Different if it were only a handful of properties but the sheer scale of illegal ones should have caused outrage.

  7. @Jane, fortunately I do not own any property in Spain and my partner and I rent but she did sell her legal property recently in December 2014, which we hardly lived in for €250.000 so things are moving slightly. We have always rented in Spain and as you know not all properties in Spain are illegal. We still pay taxes in both the UK and Spain, but hey, one pay’s taxes where ever one lives whether it’s higher in one place or another but it depends on where one is happier and for many years we have both been happier living in Spain.

    Hope I don’t get a flurry of comments, each to their own.

  8. A change in the law would have further protected housebuyers. Spain doesn’t want to protect housebuyers, therefore. Think about that when you consider purchasing a property here since it tells you a lot about this countries priorities.

  9. Surely the powers that be must realise that if they changed the law to protect buyers from losing their homes then it would give the green light to tens of thousands of people from the UK and other countries to buy property in Spain. That is tens of thousands of people with money who would provide a massive boost to the Spanish economy. Or is there another reason for wanting the economy to collapse?

    • @Gordon The premise was to protect current illegal properties with a cut off date for future buildings. This would have been a sensible approach to the existing problems.

  10. I don’t think there are tens of thousands wanting to buy property in Spain even if everything was legalised. The bubble burst for various reasons not just illegalities.

    • By the way Bryan, I don’t think the bubble burst had anything to do with the illegal building, it’s all due to properties being built without the correct building procedure and permits. Who’s to blame…well basically it’s Spain. There have been lots of comments on the OP concerning this subject and lot’s of innocent people have been caught in this terrible web of intrigue.

  11. @Jane,
    Not sure if you had come across this before and not sure where this is, but was printed last year.
    Quote:-
    Thousands of home owners – including many expatriates are breathing a sigh of relief after their seafront homes had a cloud of uncertainty lifted from them. Owners will be allowed to bequeath or sell homes and businesses that infringe Spain’s previous Coastal Law. The law was announced last year and the text has now been made public.

    New regulations annul a clause in the 1988 law warning that buildings and businesses on the 100-metre strip measured from the high tide mark would be demolished in 2018.
    Under the new law the Environment Ministry confirmed that concessions are safe for another 75 years and authorizations for four more years.

    Thanks to the new law the right to remain in these properties is now transferable to third parties as a legacy or through a sale, with the proviso that Environment Ministry authorization is obtained first.
    The ministry also has the right to widen the state-owned strip to 200 metres and veto construction of new homes or hotels.
    The idea behind the original legislation was to protect the shoreline and immediate coastal area from unchecked development, but it also affected properties that had previously been built perfectly legally.
    But while the law – from the national government – helps many, thousands more homes in inland areas are still blighted by the threat of demolition from the Junta de Andalusia regional government.

    They have been declared ‘illegal’ with planning permissions withdrawn by the Junta, despite the owners having bought in good faith.

  12. Jacko, I did know about this and it was a very positive move by the national government in Madrid and it should have been extended to include inland properties. God knows why the PP have not done this because it would immediately bring an end to the whole miserable debacle – perhaps they thought it would solve PSOE’s problems and give people fewer reasons to vote for them in the regional election in Andalucia? My personal view is that it is political and the Junta de Andalucia do not want any economic recovery while the PP are in power nationally and hide behind so called environmental issues for making living in country villas a crime. The PP should overrule them at national level and take these powers away from them.

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