25 Apr, 2016 @ 16:39
1 min read

Expat couple the Priors to be reimbursed for Almeria home demolished in 2008

The Priors
Photo from AUAN

The PriorsAN expat couple who have spent almost a decade fighting a Spanish property nightmare are set to be reimbursed for their huge financial losses.

Len and Helen Prior saw their Almeria home bulldozed in January 2008 over ‘planning irregularities’ despite having the correct paperwork signed off by the town hall.

After fighting for compensation for more than eight years, the Berkshire couple is now set to receive €425,185.43, plus interest, in compensation from Vera Town Hall thanks to an Almeria court ruling.

But campaign group AUAN fears it is a ‘hollow victory’ as the judgement can be appealed and future legal action by the town hall is also possible.

“Enough is enough,” said AUAN president Maura Hillen.

“The Priors did nothing wrong except to trust the Spanish state and its legal system and whilst fortunately things have changed in the last year, those changes come too late for Helen and Len Prior.”

She added: “We ask that the Priors be compensated once and for all.

“It is not acceptable that they must continue to live in their garage suffering continuous moral damage.

“The house of their dreams was demolished before their eyes, they had to empty it of furniture in a few hours and Mr Prior collapsed due to the stress of the demolition.”

Iona Napier

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  1. My heart sank when I got to the fourth paragraph. I think the Priors did the right thing by staying in Spain and fighting their case but they need to end this nightmare and move on and they cannot do this without compensation.

    If there is to be any future in the residential tourism industry in Spain, Vera town hall must cough up and give them this compensation and stop stalling. This has dragged on for far too long and it is time for the Junta de Andalucia to come up with a meaningful solution to the so called illegal property situation and create some new, workable laws.

    I wish the Priors well and hope they finally get closure.

  2. Of course, it wasn’t Vera who knocked it down, but some goobah from the Junta de Andalucía. The house was not on a flood plain, nor near a road, nor on the beach, nor in an area of special beauty or archaeological significance. It was just a chance for the PSOE-A to ‘get’ at Vera which was run by a minor party back in 2008. But – how much damage has all this done to Almería – with its 35% unemployment? How many billions of euros have been lost from those people from Northern Europe who had planned to retire there but, following the well-reported demolition, were able to change their mind?

    • Well said Lenox, I think this will turn out to be the most expensive demolition in history when you factor in the huge losses to inward investment, tax revenue, jobs and businesses. A spiteful, pointless exercise that has ruined lives.

  3. Buying or buying a single family home in most parts of Spain is truly dangerous. If there is a problem with “anything” or the “change of mind” of the new mayor..this maybe a nightmare of quasi-political-real estate life changing situation.

    That said, even with attorney “overwatch”, the problems may materialize. That said, let the buyer beware to truly a phrase which must be used when buying property in Spain.

    And, I believe since most of the buyers are from the UK, there must be some protection..how..I do not know.

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