By James Bryce
IT continues to affect tens of thousands of British expats.
Now the latest changes to Andalucia’s controversial planning laws are ‘another nail in the coffin’ for Spain’s ongoing property crisis, according to campaigners.
The amendments are part of a desperate bid to breathe new life into the struggling real estate sector by easing the requirements for building in urban areas.
But the regulations do nothing for those who have ended up buying illegal homes in rural areas.
According to pressure group AUAN based in Almeria, even those buying in good faith will be held responsible and punished.
“If you buy an illegal house in good faith, you still inherit the problem, according to section 35,” explained Maura Hillen, president of the association, which represents hundreds of homeowners who have fallen victim to illegal sales.
This would even apply to someone who bought a home that was wrongly entered into the local property register.
“The buyers could face unforeseen legalisation costs or in the worst case, demolition without prior compensation.”
She continued: “Given that the property register currently gives a clean bill of health to Helen and Len Priors house (the home famously demolished in 2008), you can understand the risks that you face.
“These latest changes are neither sensible nor practical. Sadly this regional government never listens and this bill is just another nail in the coffin.”
AUAN estimate there are around 300,000 ‘illegal’ homes in Andalucia, affecting about 900,000 people, representing a total investment of approximately 60 billion euros.