All EOS blogs All Spain blogs  Start your own blog Start your own blog 

Spain Real Estate News

What's really happening in the real estate world in Spain? The EOS Team are going to be keeping you up to date with everything that's happening from a market perspective.

Justice plea by Britons caught up in Spanish homes scam
09 November 2009 @ 10:21

By Alfonso Daniels in Almanzora Valley, Spain

BRITONS whose Spanish homes have been rendered worthless because they lack a "habitation licence" will today petition Madrid in their fight for justice.

The petition will detail more than 1,000 cases of people – mostly retired couples – who fell victim to a scam whereby local mayors reclassified rural land to sell to builders, often in return for bribes, and they in turn marketed properties to unsuspecting clients, knowing the requisite permits were not in place.

Many have not even been able to occupy their houses, getting only a stamped document in exchange for their life savings.

Suzanne Wyatt said: "The majority paid the money six or seven years ago and lost everything. I spent 90,000 (£81,000) and haven't received anything. I doubt we'll be compensated."

She admits the chances of getting a response from the Spanish government are slim.

Danish MEP Margrete Auken said: "It's the largest case I've ever come across. Tens of thousands of people, British, Germans, Spaniards, are affected. Rules were not respected, corruption was rampant."

She said the Spanish government was trying to avoid tackling the issue, despite a resolution passed in March by the European Parliament threatening sanctions unless these cases were resolved.

Nowhere is the situation starker than in the arid and rugged Almanzora Valley in south-eastern Spain.

Liz and John Browne, a retired couple from Bellshill, Lanarkshire, moved there five years ago. But their retirement dream turned into a living hell after realising they had bought one of some 11,000 illegal properties built in the area.

"We're trapped. We can't do anything. The builder and our Spanish lawyers said the building licence was in order, so we paid 140,000, which was half of the total, and look what we have now," said Mr Browne, pointing at the empty concrete shell of his house.

They have spent the past five years renting another place for 600 a month using the other half of the money, waiting in vain for someone to compensate them or to be allowed to complete their house. "Our money is running out," Mr Browne said. "I'm 72 years old and a few months ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. I feel sick. I don't want to leave my wife with nothing and give up our dream."

In another part of the valley, in Aljambra, 13 British couples live in whitewashed, tiled houses with swimming pools which they bought five years ago for about 200,000, but which turned out to be illegal. Their electricity has been cut off, forcing them to buy diesel generators which they can afford to run for only about five hours daily, while some houses do not even have running water. The local mayor has been arrested, but they do not expect their cases to be resolved for years.

Source: Scotsman.com



Like 0      




3 Comments

Anne said:
09 November 2009 @ 23:20

Why can't the EU enforce a member state such as Spain to be made accountable for injustices of this nature and magnitude? How bad does this have to get before the EU parliament recognise how widespread the problem has become, and how many foreign nationals have become embroiled in court maladministration, corruption, legal malpractice etc.? Is there no existing legal mechanism by which monies can be withheld from Spain and transferred to a compensation fund account to recompense those abused, until such time as the Spanish government can prove that they are addressing the problem within realistic timescales. It makes a mockery of EU justice if the EU parliament has no practical speedy effective mechanism in place to ensure that their citizens' human rights are protected from abuse of this nature. Just how many are hidden statistics as they cannot afford to fight their corner for justice given they have already been robbed of their life savings?
It's time for all foreign nationals to stand together as a powerful lobby group, to make the Spanish government accountable for turning a blind eye to injustices of this magnitude and to bring about enforced justice via the EU.
Contact your local MEP and make your views heard.


Dodoe said:
09 January 2010 @ 12:13

Why is the Spanish Government allowing this situation to continue, surly the way forward is to train the unemployed Spanish professionals and bring in laws to prevent thr wide spread fraud in the entire system of Property Purchase.
Start with the lawyer who do not do the work they are paid for ie: research of debt on the property, An answer from the lawyer after the Deeds are issued on my Spanish home, to my question "Why is debt on the property I have purchased through your company" Lawyer Answer YOU DID NOT ASK.
I hired a lawyer after requesting a list of the tasks they carried out during the purchase, the list included "the search for any debt on the property"
Where are the Standards, is their a list of Good lawyers, are the standards so poor that a purchaser has to check every stage of purchase. Why is the Spanish Government ignoring the pleas of property purchasers, this is not a new problem. Lets hope the EU meetings in Brussles will action "The Spanish Government" into sorting the property laws out, Punish the crooks by putting embargos on the riches they have made from the crime's they continue to make in the Spanish Property Market. Many BUILDERS, LAWYERS, AGENTS & NOTARY are in the middle of this gigantic fraud, Spain is suffering from a sickness of crime by these Fraudulent professionals. Please WAKE UP SPAIN we love the country & the People. PLEASE STOP THIS FRAUD.




Dodoe said:
09 January 2010 @ 12:18

Why is the Spanish Government allowing this situation to continue, surly the way forward is to train the unemployed Spanish professionals and bring in laws to prevent thr wide spread fraud in the entire system of Property Purchase.
Start with the lawyer who do not do the work they are paid for ie: research of debt on the property, An answer from the lawyer after the Deeds are issued on my Spanish home, to my question "Why is debt on the property I have purchased through your company" Lawyer Answer YOU DID NOT ASK.
I hired a lawyer after requesting a list of the tasks they carried out during the purchase, the list included "the search for any debt on the property"
Where are the Standards, is there a list of Good lawyers, are the standards so poor that a purchaser has to check every stage of purchase. Why is the Spanish Government ignoring the pleas of property purchasers, this is not a new problem. Lets hope the EU meetings in Brussles will action "The Spanish Government" into sorting the property laws out, Punish the crooks by putting embargos on the riches they have made from the crime's they continue to make in the Spanish Property Market. Many BUILDERS, LAWYERS, AGENTS & NOTARY are in the middle of this gigantic fraud, Spain is suffering from a sickness of crime by these Fraudulent professionals. Please WAKE UP SPAIN we love the country & the People. PLEASE STOP THIS FRAUD.




Only registered users can comment on this blog post. Please Sign In or Register now.




 

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x