The Priors win right to claim compensation from Vera town council

Len & Helen Prior

Len & Helen Prior

The Superior Court of Justice has finally ruled that Vera Town Hall is responsible for compensating Helen and Len Prior. But will they ever be paid?

AUAN: Press Release – Helen and Len Prior

Helen and Len Prior’s house in Vera was demolished in 2008, although it had all the correct building licences. Theirs is the only house to have been demolished for illegal construction on non-urban land in the Levante area, and it has sown the seeds of a judicial process which threatens to go on interminably in spite of the latest court rulings.

In 2009 the highest court in Spain, the Constitutional Court, ruled their demolition to be illegal and the case was sent for retrial even though the house was already demolished.

In 2010 the demolition order was re-instate. The court ruled that the Vera Council had issued the licence knowing full well that its intended use bore no relation to legal activity on non-urbanisable land. Vera Council tried to avoid responsibility, appealing this decision and blaming the Junta de Andalucía instead.

In November 2012, almost five years after the demolition, the Superior Court has finally decided, with no further appeals available, that Vera Council is responsible. Helen and Len Prior can now resume their compensation claim, which had previously been declared premature.

However, knowing who is liable to pay the compensation and actually getting it are very far apart.

Helen and Len have already incurred 150,000 Euros in legal fees. They lost their home and have suffered both physically and mentally for over four years. They continue to fight on.

If Vera Council say they have no money, how will Helen and Len ever be compensated?

contact : info@almanzora-au.org

Comments

comments

9 thoughts on “The Priors win right to claim compensation from Vera town council”

  1. Roy Martinez

    Surely this is a no brainer after the lengthy disgraceful legal process these poor people have had to endure.
    The Spanish Government must stand behind this Council debt and immediately reimburse these owners.

    The whole shattered reputation of Spain concerning the property market has to be restored. As such how can such legal settlements depend on the liquidity of individual Councils – this is a SPANISH problem ??

  2. Lionel Westell

    A warning to all who wish to purchse property in Spain. This case should be be shown to all prospective purchasers, political pressure should be made to bear on the Spanish government until compensation is paid. If Vera has no funds then it’s assets should be siezed.

  3. Nick Bage

    Never buy property abroad. Its a total minefield unfortunately english people think thats every where is like the UK when it comes to buying property. Its not, its rip off all the way.
    Invest in something more liquid and use the income or growth to generate enough to rent and you can then be someoneelses headache.
    After some years you get bored with the same place anyway and life changes

  4. gtibruce

    Quote > Vera Council should now compensate the Prior’s without any further delay and let these poor people resume their lives.

    That’s if we are led to believe Spain is a predominatly Catholic country with proper laws and ethics “Hypocrits”??

  5. HMS

    Another “tricky Ruling” As the priors have not been awarded a settlement amount, they must first seek a settlemnt amount from the local council. Witout a figure, how can they even start the process of seizing the local governments assets!
    These poor people might still be at ths for years…you have to hand it to the Spanish legal system it’s “very tricky”

  6. Brad Swift

    What sort of message is this case sending out to potential buyers,, that’s easy don’t buy in Spain. Consumer protection zero, give us your hard earned money /life savings and we’ll come and knock your house down and blame you for being stupid enough to want to live in our country.

  7. John Dempster

    This has been going on for nearly 5 years now.Len and Helen are not getting any younger and they should receive full compensation immediately.The government should pay their costs and a reasonable sum in compensation – I would suggest 500,000 Euros so that they can get on with their lives.The Government could then sort out the problem with Vera Council.
    As the owner of a Villa in the same region as the Priors I have also been at the mercy of local politics,slow process and unbelievable apathy on the part of town halls and local government in getting things done.The result – I am not able to pay taxes.No wonder the Country is in such a mess

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About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based property market analyst and consultant, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008). He can be reached by email on ms@spanishpropertyinsight.com.