A BRITISH woman who was told by lawyers that she could erect a mobile home on her land has been forced to move back to England.
Eileen Mullholland, who is often wheelchair-bound due to excruciating arthritis, planned to spend the warmer months of the year in a mobile home in Spain to ease her pain.
She and husband Jack bought land in Cartama in 2003 and were assured by lawyers and their translator that it was perfectly legal to put a mobile home on the land as long as nothing permanent was erected.
Of course, as with other victims, this assurance was never confirmed in writing.
As it turns out just months beforehand, in December 2002, the law had changed, meaning the land was not even allowed to have temporary housing or mobile homes parked on it.
The first the couple knew of this law change was when inspectors visited their property in 2005, which was followed up by a demand to remove the home in 2006.
To add to their woes, the Mullhollands then found out their land had never been legally segregated. In fact, the previous landowner had never even registered it, so Cartama town hall is still refusing to contemplate registering the land to seven current English and Spanish owners.
The law firm, despite being employed to survey the land, allowed Jack and Eileen to buy the property from the landowner, who – in a classic conflict of interest – they also represented.
The Mullhollands now realise that they suffered from this conflict of interest that happens all too often in Spain, when lawyers represent both the landowner and the buyer.
Despite questioning the set-up at the time, they were promised this dual loyalty would not cause any problems for them.
“We just feel so used and abused by the Spanish system, corrupt estate agents and lawyers and untruthful interpreters,” said Eileen.
Their mobile home is now in storage and Jack and Eileen have returned to England, from where they have petitioned the EU and are waiting for a reply.