FIRST they were fined over 100,000 euros after being sold down the river by both lawyers and developers.
Now, in the ultimate insult, a trio of British couples have seen their illegal homes collapse into the ground after flooding and with little hope of compensation.
The group each sunk their life savings into the trio of ‘luxury’ three-bedroom villas on a hillside near Tolox.
But, despite going by the book and enrolling the services of expensive local lawyers to undertake the conveyancing, they ended up with illegal homes.
For the homes, as it turned out, were merely given licences as ‘tool sheds’ and therefore not fit for habitation.
One more heavy spell of rain could lead to total collapse
After an investigation from the Junta, the group of pensioners were fined 143,000 euros between them.
“So it is the ultimate insult to see our homes collapse in the floods,” said Peter Chilvers, 58.
“After being stitched up by our lawyers and the developer and facing a huge 42,000 euro fine, we have been well and truly kippered.”
He and his wife Jacqueline Chilvers, 53, are being forced to move out of their dream home after it became dangerous to live in.
“We don’t want to move but we have no choice,” said father-of-three Peter, who has diabetes.
“New cracks are appearing in the walls every day, the drive has disappeared, the septic tank has fallen down the hill and the water supply has packed up.”
On top of that, they have been told that one more heavy spell of rain could lead to total collapse.
“What choice have we got? But rest assured at the end of all this we will be suing everyone, including our lawyers.”
As reported in the Olive Press last April, the Chilvers’ home was one of half a dozen built illegally in the area known as Paraje cerro de Ponton.
They only had licences for tool sheds
Each of the homes were built with only licences to build an ‘almacen de apero’, or tool shed.
Despite paying tens of thousands of euros to two well-known local law firms, the buyers insist they were never told that their homes would be illegal.
Their neighbours, antiques restorer Brian Miller, 59, and his partner Christine, 62, from Hertfortshire, have already abandoned ship.
The couple spent 175,000 euros building the retirement home of their dreams only to find themselves fined 51,000 euros from the Junta.
“I am absolutely gutted. We wanted this to be our dream escape in southern Spain, but it has all gone wrong.
“First of all we lost our drive, then cracks started appearing in the walls and in the ceiling. Finally the swimming pool started to cave in.
“Worst of all we don’t have any insurance as we didn’t buy any as the home was declared illegal.
“At times it feels like the stress will cause a heart attack. We have been ill advised by our first solicitors. It was the lawyers fault from the start and I hope they end up paying for it.
“You just don’t know who to trust in Spain. It is disgraceful.”
A third couple meanwhile, Peter and Lyn Joyce have also been forced to move out after the ground gave way and the roof and walls caved in.
The couple, who had been paying a 50,000 euro fine in instalments of 600 euros a month, are unlikely to receive any compensation or their money back.
As well as being fined 4,000 euros for putting up a pergola, they were also hit with a bill for a retaining wall, a chimney and even putting up a Venetian blind on their kitchen window.
“We were so scared they would put an embargo on our property, we just decided to pay,” Lyn explained last year.
“We feel so victimised. All we wanted was to be law abiding citizens in Spain and we have really paid the price.”
When the Olive Press approached two legal firms for a comment we were threatened with legal action.
The developer P3, which has since closed down, also refused to comment.