13 Mar, 2015 @ 14:13
1 min read

Expats tricked into buying illegally-built Spanish homes will receive compensation under new law

house demolitions

house demolitionsEXPATS conned into buying illegal homes in Spain are celebrating a change in law after a decade of campaigning.

Hundreds of heart-broken homeowners invested in Spanish properties before the crisis hit in 2008, only to find their dream homes were constructed illegally and could be demolished without any form of compensation.

But now, thanks to years of campaigning, a change in the law states that ‘homes will not be demolished until the owner receives a payout’.

‘It looks like a house, it is a house, but far as the authorities were concerned, it’s not a house,” said AUAN president Maura Hillen, who unknowingly bought an illegal house in Albox in 2007.

“We were left with paperless properties and we have been working to improve our circumstances over the years.”

AUAN is a group established by residents in Almanzora, where there are 12,697 illegal constructions alone.

It is unclear whether properties already demolished will receive any retrospective compensation.

According to AUAN, there are an estimated 300,000 illegally built homes in southern Spain.

Rob Horgan

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  1. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. What level of compensation will be offered? What happens if the compensation is rejected as being too low? Lots of questions still remain, but AUAN did extremely well getting this clause into law.

    If Spain had a proper system in place to begin with, none of these problems would have arisen. How on earth did the system in Spain allow people to purchase homes using lawyers and notaries, only for them to be deemed illegal? Spain should hang its head in shame.

  2. This is a massive step in the right direction and my personal thanks goes to SOHA, AUAN and their lawyer. It was touch and go as to whether it would get through the Senate in Madrid but luckily PP supported the bill. I do hope this is the beginning of the end of this dreadful situation which should never have happened in the first place. I also hope that the Priors, the Brooks and all the other victims can now re-apply for compensation.

    The next step is to get the planning laws changed into something that actually works and ensures that this never happens again. We have to try and be optimistic and hope that the regional election will produce a government (no doubt a coalition) with a mandate to move things forward and get Andalucía out of the dreadful mess it is in. More of the same is not an option.

  3. Fred,
    you’ve got it in one. I really hope that all those that have suffered such dreadful undeserved stress will be properly compensated – how long will it take the Spanish system to come good let’s wait and see.

  4. I am one of these affected by this & it has destroyed my life, not to say I do not love Spain because I do, It was not for want of trying or getting “Honest Spanish lawyer ” involved but
    after living alone in very isolated area for 8 years refused water & Electricity after paying for
    these in advance Then to be told that your house is illegal, you can only live in it for 48 hrs.
    it never will be Legal & you risk a fine of thousands of Euros, plus the cost of Demolition was
    just too much to bear & I gave up locked up & went back to UK where I now have to Rent &
    accept Housing Benefit, this at over 70 years old is a bitter pill to swallow, Spain took
    everything from me and I will never ever own my own home again But most of all they took
    my Dignity .

  5. Teresa, I am so sorry to hear about your life ruining story but that is what motivated me to join SOHA and shout as loudly as I can about what is happening at the hands of the Junta de Andalucia. The sheer injustice of it sickens me and there is no reason why the whole so called illegal building situation could not have been resolved years ago and it just shows how stupid and incompetent the Junta are – what a pity so many people voted PSOE last Sunday.

    If it’s any consolation, they well and truly shot themselves in the foot and are paying for it big time – they now preside over the poorest region of Spain with staggeringly high unemployment, a clapped out housing market and have been honoured with the title of Banana Republic of Spain.

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