A BRITISH expat has become scared to leave her own house after being terrorised by a family of squatters for the past TWO YEARS.
Tina Cackett, 64, claims she has been verbally assaulted and received several death threats from the family since they illegally took over the property next to hers, which she also owns, in December 2018.
On one occasion, Tina, a live-in carer, had to barricade herself inside her home while the father of the squatter family repeatedly screamed at her in her driveway that he was going to kill her.
“It was terrifying,” Tina, from Colchester, told the Olive Press, “He looked deranged, like he was on something, and just kept screaming that he was going to kill me and that he had friends who would come and kill me.
“His wife was holding him back and begging him to leave my driveway while I phoned police.”
The trouble began when Tina bought the house, which sits just across a dried out riverbed from her own home, in Competa, Malaga, at the end of 2018.
The previous owners, who she was very close to, had died, and the inheritors of the property decided to sell it to Tina.
“I wanted a home for my daughter Kristine, she is often ill and needs hospital treatment or looking after, so the setup was ideal,” Tina explained.
But while waiting for the deeds to be put into her name, which took several weeks, the squatters moved in and changed the locks.
Since then a legal battle has ensued, which has been delayed and extended on technicalities.
“The first couple of times they turned up without a lawyer, which means the case gets adjourned,” added Tina, “I’ve been told it’s a tactic they use a lot to buy time.
“When they finally had a lawyer, he managed to find a misprint in the escritura which he claimed suggested the inheritors might not have had the right to sell the property, but it was just a typo.”
To make matters worse, Tina had to find a new solicitor after discovering her previous one was charging her for hours not worked.
She now has the documents in order to prove she bought the home legally and is hoping for a resolution this year, but everything has been slowed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile the squatter family continues to threaten Tina and her loved ones.
Just three weeks ago Tina’s partner was also threatened by the father, mother and son, who is only around 12 years old.
“They told him to ‘go back to England you English madman’ and started throwing rocks at him,” Tina claimed, “even their child was shouting death threats, it’s just horrible, and the mother is supposed to be a care worker! Even my daughter has received threatening Whatsapp messages, which we have saved for police.
“I’m scared to leave my house to take my dogs for a walk in case they do something to me.
“This family has ruined our lives and it’s just not fair, while I paid all their bills they’re living rent free in MY property and driving around in a new car.”
Tina has contacted two privately-run squatter removal companies but they said as there is a court case ongoing they cannot take on her case.
It comes as Spain’s right wing parties are hoping to clampdown on squatting, which has soared during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Partido Popular and Vox want to see stricter measures, including thousands of euros in fines and up to three years in prison.
However left-leaning parties fear it may criminalise struggling families who have been unable to pay rent during the COVID-19 crisis.
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