A BRITISH single mother is being evicted from her home in Javea for being a squatter – despite not missing a rent payment in SEVEN YEARS.
Kate Langshaw, 44, and her seven-year-old son Lucas were given notice to leave their property, after becoming embroiled in an inheritance row between the owner and her budding politician son.
Despite Kate winning her case in May, the son, who stood in the local elections for the anti-feminist Vox party, was able to reverse the decision on appeal in just three months.
Questions remain over how the ruling was made so rapidly in a legal system that is famed for its slow pace.
(Donate to Kate’s GoFundMe here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-fund-kates-legal-battle-against-eviction)
Kate, for example, has not received a single alimony payment from the father of her son for four years after a successful domestic violence case against him.
She is now facing tens of thousands of euros in court costs, legal fees and backdated rent – and the prospect of being left homeless with a young son and their dog Orri.
Kate told the Olive Press: “I’ve always paid my rent and did everything I was told to by the rental company, it’s terrifying to think we could all be on the streets.
“We are still in the summer season and I cannot afford to find a new place near my son’s school.
“I might even have to give up my dog as very few rental properties accept pets which would be heartbreaking for me but especially my son. He suffers from anxiety and Orri is crucial for his mental health.
“How can it be fair that I’m being kicked out? It’s madness. I hear stories that it can take three years to evict an actual squatter, and yet I am being asked to leave as a single mother paying rent.”
The issues began when the millionaire patriarch of the influential Bas family, based in Javea on the Costa Blanca, died some years ago, leaving a slew of homes, land and money to his wife Christine English – and his four children.
The father had been a successful property developer and was behind the large Don Pepe urbanization just off Javea’s celebrated Arenal beach.
He left a number of apartments in the block, plus various other homes, over which the siblings are understood to have squabbled.
The Olive Press understands at least one child, including son Daniel, took their mother to court to obtain more properties and money from her.
Unbeknown to Kate, who began renting her two-bed villa from mother Christine in 2017, son Daniel managed to acquire the deeds to the property in 2019.
Despite this, the rental company handling the tenancy advised her to continue paying rent to the mother, particularly as official notary papers still indicated that Christine was the owner.
Finally last year, the son tried to ‘bully’ Kate to pay him instead of the mum with an increase of €200 more a month, despite her having a fixed contract in place until 2026.
When this failed, he instead took her to court, claiming she was a ‘squatter’ because she had no contract with him – despite proving she had paid rent since 2017.
He claimed he had the right to any earnings (known as usufructo) on the property, including rent.
However his case failed in Denia court in May, when a judge ruled that mother Christine had the usufructo when Kate signed the rental agreement and she had therefore paid the right person.
But the son took an appeal to the courts in Alicante, and, extraordinarily, the decision was reversed in July making the latest rental contract void.
Worse, he is now suing Kate for backdated rent which totals over €30,000.
She has been receiving help from social services, the Citizens Advice bureau and a local charity called Guardian Angels.
“They are all shocked by the decision and can’t understand how it happened,” added Kate.
Myra Azzopardi, senior adviser and paralegal at Citizens Advice in Spain, told the Olive Press: “This case is shocking. First of all, the fact the appeal was won so quickly is very surprising, any other person in Spain would be thrilled to get a case through a court in three months.
“But Kate is the victim here, she was paying the rent and the mother should have known exactly what was happening with her property.
“If that mother didn’t know what was going on I’d eat my hat. She has acted unjust and fraudulently and Kate should be taking her to court.
“The fact that the son wants to sue Kate for the huge rent allegedly owed is ridiculous. He should be suing his mother, as she was collecting the rent that the courts have now ruled she had no right to.”
The case has shocked the local expat community, which has set up a GoFundMe page to help with legal costs and a deposit for a new home, if needed. Search Kate Langshaw legal battle to find the donation page.
The Olive Press has contacted Daniel Bas and the agency for comment.
Donate to Kate’s GoFundMe here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-fund-kates-legal-battle-against-eviction