Property legislation victory to fight Spanish home demolitions

Putting a stop to sporadic nightmare demolitions - but not in time to protect the Priors

LAST UPDATED: 26 Jun, 2015 @ 15:23
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moira hillen and priorsNEW regulations will protect thousands of expats from unexpected and unwarranted home demolitions.

The ground-breaking and unanimous Spanish Senate approval of this legislation means demolition orders cannot go ahead without compensation being paid.

And, crucially, will bring an end to ‘planning irregularities’ caused by administrative errors leading to demolitions.

But whether iconic British victims Helen and Len Prior, who saw their dream Almeria home destroyed seven years ago, will benefit from the changes is unlikely.

The British couple, both 71, were the first expats to see their €350,000 home demolished for ‘planning irregularities’ and have campaigned for the last seven and a half years for compensation – so far unsuccessfully.

They were, however, present at the senate on Wednesday with Maura Hillen to celebrate the victory.

Hillen said the good news would take effect not only for those living in homes built by rogue builders, but would protect those who bought in good faith to later see their licence revoked.



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26 COMMENTS

  1. Some much needed good news, how refreshing. Well done and thanks to Helen and Len Prior and all those who made it happen. How about the Junta de Andalucia making a gesture of goodwill and paying the Priors some meaningful compensation. Let’s hope this is the beginning of the end of the so called illegal property scandal, it would give the Spanish property market a much needed boost.

  2. Agree Jane. Although it doesn’t help the thousands who have illegal properties and cannot sell them, just protects them if they are demolished. Stil one small step etc……

  3. Jane, as I had said, it needed a body higher than the Junta to make things happen and the higher body could even allow illegal properties to become legal. As for the boost regarding the property market it’s happening, happening on legal properties. One can see by the sales so far recorded, and it’s increasing.

  4. Quite right, the Junta de Andalucia now need to change the law to something that actually works, legalise all existing properties and then make sure this never happens again. They need to get on with it now and stop wasting time. One other point, they are unlikely to demolish more properties now they have to compensate people so it is a good deterrent.

  5. I’d wait until the actual levels of “compensation” are announced before celebrating further. They are likely to be well (well) under actual house resale values.

  6. Strange how some people always have a negative attitude about everything. This has had a positive move against demolition which previously did not exist and at last given some hope to hundreds if not thousands of people in saving their homes. This alone is a cause for celebration with at least some form of compensation at the end, but the main thing it has stopped random demolition.
    It’s been a long stressful battle for these people and it’s a beginning and that’s what unsympathetic clowns should also be celebrating instead of giving negative attitudes.
    It could take years regarding compensation value regarding each property in comparison to others (if not to the original price paid) and perhaps by then the resalable value may have increased considerably which would place extra pressure on the Junta de Andalusia to change the title of illegal properties to legal much quicker. One must also consider that it would not be to the value of what the Junta de Andalusia will establish but to a possible valuation of an independent arbitrator if it drags on. The “celebration” should also be seen as a rebuff to the Junta de Andalusia and could they really afford compensation on thousands of illegal properties.

    It’s a beginning

    • Jacko, noone has been more vociferous against these planning abuses than I. Your entry onto the scene of this subject matter is embryonic in that respect. Unfortunately a lot of people are naive when it comes to getting “compensation” from Spain. I’ll believe it when I see it. As for resale prices getting back to their original levels, more pie in the sky from you.

    • None of this should ever have happened and the biggest clowns of all are the Junta de Andalucia and all those who were dim enough to vote them in again. PSOE have been in power at the Junta de Andalucia for over 30 years and have achieved nothing but total failure and you are right about it being rebuff. Following the election, they have formed a pact with the business friendly C’s so we can only hope that things will improve. They certainly need to.

  7. Sorry folk’s, Fred is the only person that can give an opinion on OP regarding home demolitions and although he wasn’t named he must have felt a tinge of guilt in replying. I’m pleased to hear Fred that no one has been more vociferous against these planning abuses then you, but that is all. When was the last time you actually put deeds into action and attended any of their meetings. none I bet, so please continue in giving your vociferous writings which does nothing but troll.
    I stand by everything that I had said which I believe is positive thinking, not negative and don’t wish to tear each sentence of your posting to pieces, once again, so please keep to your word, and what was it, oh yes, quote. “Methinks we’ve seeen “Jacko” before elsewhere folks. I won’t feed this troll from now on”.
    You haven’t seen Jacko elsewhere and it is just another cop-out, so Fred, I would appreciate those last few words of your quote immensely as replying would just be a waste of my time. Direct your anger elsewhere or at least get help, think it’s called “anger management”.

    Hope OP allows this posting as it is just a simple reply to Fred’s ridicules accusations.

  8. So you have seen all these properties sold at a higher price…how would you know that. Unless you are an Agent. Property information isn’t exactly transparent is it.

    Back to the story. I bet the Priors are smiling all the way back to their garage.

  9. For a start Bryan I didn’t say ALL these properties, I said “I have seen properties in my area” and may you well ask old chap, sold by who, residents, residents that happen to be “friends”, selling their second home at a profit. Also I am not an agent but a mere pensioner. Hope that clarifies your curiosity.
    But there is something else that may tickle your fancy. Speaking to an agent who has had a practice for many years in my area happened to mention that he has had calls for certain area’s and the odd one or two that had been placed in his hands had been sold at the asking price and sales in general have increased. So please understand what I have said if you intend to reply, which I hope you will not.

    Btw, I think your remark regarding the Priors is a bit snide and a bit unsympathetic don’t you think.

  10. Read my reply to Bryan below. Hope you also understand what I have said. See your still trolling.
    BTW Fred, where did you get this from, quote. “So you have inside knowledge of all owner asking prices and actual sale prices too?” Another miss-reading “all owners”. Another one of your assumptions. Stop wasting my time please. Da

    • “Another miss-reading “all owners”.”

      Er, no. I refer to “all” of the people you referred to. Who are all fictitious anyway of course lol. Perhaps learn to read properly.

  11. I am very sympathetic to the Priors. Imagine if it had happened to your Parents as pensioners. A nice life in a nice villa and whoosh! 8 years living in a garage. I admire them for sticking it out but personally I would not want to live in a country that had done that to me.

    As for your Agents stories…see and hear them every week, sigh. Same old stuff has been churning out for years. Stuff like “I was speaking to an Agent who told me………jajaja” or one frequently doing the rounds is 3 or 4 have just sold in my Street. Hahaha. Many Agents would lie to their own Mother.

    According to the Times last week there are still three and a half million empty properties in Spain.

    • Strange really Bryan, (all your quotes in inverted brackets) “I am very sympathetic to the Priors”. Pity that was not the last line in your previous posting.
      “Imagine if it had happened to your Parents as pensioners”. Bryan, could not imagine it as I know it would never have happened. “I admire them for sticking it out but personally I would not want to live in a country that had done that to me”. Strange how you would know under what circumstances they remain. As for your ramp about agents do you actually know any, personally, I mean, honest one’s and yet you are prone to believe what the Times say, three and a half million, I ask you, a bit far stretched don’t you think and yet you tend not to believe of the large investments and the start up’s of new properties in Spain as printed in the OP by large construction companies which will all be sold. Have you seen the houses for sale in the new OP Property Sales Mag, many cheap properties in there for sale if you care to live in those places and how many houses or flat’s had you viewed prior to purchasing just but ONE.
      Broaden your mind Bryan, it’s surprising how far it can reach.

  12. Fred, I will say it once more, “I have seen properties in my area”. What is it you didn’t understand. I didn’t say, “All people I know selling properties in my area”.
    Again your quote, “Er, no. I refer to “all” of the people you referred to.”.
    Fred, would you sell one of your properties at a loss or for profit. If at a loss shows how short sighted you must be.
    As for the accusation of being fictitious I think I can rightly say that your quote:-,
    “I won’t feed this troll from now on”. Would you not say that statement was totally factitious. I think you need help.
    I shall not reply to you again on this subject as it is now boring, and please keep to your fictitious statement.

  13. It’s very unusual for sellers to share all of their financial data in this way, and in my opinion (only you appreciate) you are just making it up as you go along, just like you said you had inside knowledge of FIFA. That is my opinion anyway, and you’d better get used to opinions on a blog. As I stated, I am not feeding you on the other thread, so that is a fact. Your assertion that people are now turning a profit on their properties is quite ridiculous. Finally, if you find blogging so stressful, perhaps do something else. After all, that is why you moved to Spain wasn’t it? Perhaps you are not enjoying the summer heat? That concludes our conversation I take it?

  14. Fred, concluding our conversations is purely at your discretion and as I have said a few times before I do like some of you inputs, especially where your knowledge on certain matters are greater then mine. But to imply that I make things up is detrimental and questions my integrity which can be annoying and if you are, or, have been in business, which I had been for many years prior to moving to Spain have found that to be successful in business one needs to be honest as lying can lead to all sorts of problems.

    Fred, I don’t make things up and it’s unfortunate that I cannot prove otherwise via the press, too personal, and if I tend to mention names I would be accused of “name dropping” but can assure you that both expats and Spanish friends show me respect.

    Fred, to give you just one small example. My partner of 25 years, on a whim, whilst on holiday in Spain many years ago saw a nice little Finca and made an offer. It was legal and had all the right paperwork. When she phoned me back in the UK, (couldn’t go myself, busy in business) and told me I replied, “fancy buying something in Spain, you only went for a holiday” Anyway she finally purchased it for 6.800.00 peseta’s which at the time, if I remember, was approximately 1 million peseta’s to 4 and a half thousand pounds. We never lived in it (more of an investment really) but allowed a relative to stay there providing all expenses were met.. It was sold on the 14th Dec 2014 for 230.000 Euros. To be honest we didn’t really need the money but we are both getting on in years and have sufficient income elsewhere with pensions etc. We both continue paying taxes in the UK and Spain and if you pay tax in the UK one of the reasons is income on properties.

    I could also write a book on the academic achievements of my sons but that would require quite a few pages. Would love to meet you and swap idea’s although we may clash now and then on comments, all in good faith I hope but that’s part of life and perhaps one day we will accidentally meet up. Hope you believe me as I don’t lie.

    Btw Fred that part regarding FIFA was in fact correct insofar as I knew what the results would be without attending. Thought you might have twigged it or perhaps it was too sharp for you. It’s called Business me boy.

  15. Come on Jacko, make your mind up. One minute you are telling me to stop wasting your time and the next inviting me back to the conversation lol. It does not surprise me in the least that properties bought for peanuts back in the days of the Peseta could be sold on at a profit in more recent times. That really is very common knowledge, and it is in much more recent times that I make my property comparisons i.e. in the era of the euro and during Spain’s crisis period specifically. If we all use comparisons from half a century ago the results would not really be unexpected.

    I could be wrong, but my gut tells me we’ve had similar conversations before on this forum, and I always believe my gut. As for our achievements, we’ll have to just agree to disagree as there no way we can ever prove them on this forum so the subject is moot. It was a pity you descended to insults early on in the thread; that always kills a good argument stone dead. Now please tell us all again, seeing as you don’t ever lie, have you ever posted under a different alias previously on this forum?

  16. Fred, “concluding our conversations is purely at your discretion”. I’m not inviting you to make any conversation and you can try and converse as much as you like but it doesn’t mean I need to reply and waste my time which I’m afraid I am doing just that at the moment, but it will be the last.
    The point I made, ie; “Fred, to give you just one small example.” was an indication of a profit made regardless of the period of time and profit is profit. I’ve purchased property 20 odd years ago and if sold would make a tremendous profit. Time is relevant to the time you make a profit and profit means nothing if you are purchasing again unless you are downsizing.
    I’m sure that if you have purchased in recent times ie; Euro times, you intend to make a profit if and when you decide to sell regardless of a time period involved and if you sell at a loss then, well, that shows what a fool you are. But when I stated profit from recent times, Euro times, by friends, was a fact and as I said I don’t lie and that you can believe or not, in-fact I would go even further by stating they made a profit on one property without it actually not being sold. It also is an indication that property is moving together with prices being met on new properties by new clients. Properties with dropped prices are from people wishing to leave and perhaps the price drop is to the price they originally had purchased and the prices that were being asked were in fact inflated prices., who knows.
    I don’t think I had descended into insults, they were merely replies to comments being made by others but I suppose one could say they could be classed as perhaps being sarcastic but not insults so could you indicate where I made these insults, but if you class certain comments as insults then surely you must top the list.
    Since when have you suddenly become a police spokesman for OP. I post under the name of Jacko.
    I shall however try to keep to my word with perhaps an odd sarcastic word now and then to your postings but hopefully you will also keep to your statement..
    Reply

  17. Stefanjo, you don’t need to read it, but I tend to read you babbling brook comments without being offence. Besides I notice you didn’t mention Fred in your negative observations who is equally prone to babbling don’t you think. So please be unbiased when you make future comments.

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