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Home > Property > Spain Speeds up Squatter Evictions

Spain Speeds up Squatter Evictions

June 19th, 2018

Spain’s Senate has approved specific measures against illegal occupiers of private property. Under the new bill, named specially “Amendment to Procedural Act 1/2000 in respect to illegal occupants of property”, squatters will be served with an eviction notice and told to justify ownership of the property through a title deed, or show lack of one on the part of the claimant. If no sufficient justification is provided by the squatters, the court will order immediate repossession of the home with no chance of appeals.

What´s interesting is that squatter´s rights to fight the case in Court -and effectively ‘buying’ an average of 15 months whilst the case in dealt by the Courts- are drastically curtailed under what is a fast-track procedure aimed at preventing, in particular, what the preashutterstock_354121799mble of this described as “extorsion to the owner or lawful possessor of the property with the purpose of obtaining financial compensation as a condition for the recovery of the property”, often conducted by  “very organized mafia-style networks”.

Courts will now serve notice on squatters (identified or not) giving them 5 days to produce a rental agreement, or any other document enabling them to lawfully stay in the property, failing which the Court will order immediate eviction. In addition, under the new law the Courts will have to observe the following:

  • Squatters will have no rights other than to produce a valid agreement to cover their stay in the property. Opposing any application to have them evicted will not have suspensive effects.
  • Sentences against squatters will have no right of appeal and will be immediately enforceable.
  • Social services will be on stand-by in case of eviction of children, elderly or people with special needs.
  • The reform will only affect properties whose owners are “private individuals, non-profits and public agencies that own social housing.” It leaves out real estate held by banks and investment funds.

The above measures will become applicable 20 days after the publication of the law reform in the Official Gazette.

About Antonio Flores

Antonio Flores is the head lawyer at Lawbird, a Spanish law firm specialised in property and litigation. More on .

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