Two British owned houses, located near the hamlet of Las Terreras in the municipality of CANTORIA in ANDALUCIA, SPAIN, were demolished yesterday in an unannounced move by representatives of the Junta de Andalucia, the regional administration, acting on a court order.
The demolitions resulted from proceedings started by the regional government in 2004 against a local promoter relating to the construction of FOUR houses without the planning permission. A firm sentence of demolition was applied to all four houses in June of this year and the promoter was ordered to demolish the properties at his own expense and to compensate the four British home owners, who, as acknowledged in the court judgement , had acted in good faith.
However, it is understood that the homeowners have yet to receive any compensation in spite of yesterday’s demolition.
Two of the four houses were demolished following an instruction to execute the demolition order issued by the Provincial Court in September 2013. The remaining two houses, also British owned, face the same fate. The houses were vacated at the time of their demolition.
There are an estimated 300,000 illegal properties in Andalucia according to government estimates.
Two more British families, purchasers in good faith have lost their home, and it appears that they have not been compensated, which AUAN considers to be against their most elemental human rights.
Thoughts on “Two British-owned homes demolished in Andalucia yesterday”
What an absolute disgrace ! This is one of the reasons we got out of the property market in Spain, it is completely unregulated. You can’t trust the regional government, the local government officials and Mayors, or the main Spanish government. They don’t care who they ruin when they have taken people’s money in good faith. The Spanish property industry do themselves no favours as who in their right might would buy property there after reading about this ? My heart goes out to those poor people who have probably become bankrupt with nowhere to live but the Spanish government take no prisoners and do not consider the individuals, where are their Human Rights we hear so much about in the UK ?
Can you imagine this sort of thing happening in the UK ?
I wonder why some illegal houses are demolished whilst others (usually Spanish families) only receive a fine. Those poor people, where are they now?
Having said that, did they purchase these houses with Escrituras? If so they must have been fraudulent ones.
Well, I hope the judge has also jailed the developer who sold these illegal properties to these unfortunate folk, with the stipulation that he is not released until they have obtained full restitution from him.
France Fradet says:
Malcolm Berry says:
When there are so many well regulated real estate markets in the world, why Spain cannot copy these regulations is beyond me. They scare off so many prospective buyers.
Total disgrace, if it wasn’t for the brits, they would have no economic growth at all !!
This will just switch the Brits off from buying in Spain , disgrace this it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In reply to all of the other comments so far….yes, it is a disgrace and very sorry for the property owners who will lose out, BUT, I have to also state that yes, of course building IS regulated in Spain, when you choose to follow it, and if these houses had been built within the local town, I´m sure the authorities would have stopped the build before it finished. Even in the UK, it is possible to build without having the licences in place, but the same as in Spain, if you do so, you risk having to knock it all down.
The problem is that brits depend on a solicitor to complete their sales and resolve any problems, but they don´t work the same in Spain as UK…unless you know what you need to look for & instruct your solicitor to do those checks!
Sometimes it has admitedly been the fault of the local council / mayor getting back handers etc, and then the builder rushing ahead to make a sale, but normally in these problems, it is because the licence hasn´t been issued in full (only a provisional agreement from the local town hall, when they then need to wait for the final certificate from the regional town hall). In the countryside, the builders can seem to get away with building without / with less problems, & sometimes they get away with it. But the rules are there, and the town hall will assume the builder is willing to take the risk of knocking it down or paying a fine.
The problem then follows through to the purchaser which if you don´t have the “right” solicitor, or know what you are looking for , for those who can speak/read spanish, you can officially be buying just a plot of land which may have had a ruin ot it, which would be classed as a property existing….. to which there can also be various types / amounts of land required to build. I know many people, who have either been caught out or taken the risk, knowingly – some have even got away with it…so far!!! …A reminder to any prospective purchaser – even if the property exists on the title deeds (escritura) it does NOT meen it is legal – be warned!!!
The saddest news is of course for those who thought they were doing everything right, or trusted their solicitor, and are in this situation…..which I remind you, can & has happened in the UK!!!
Could you tell me how one finds the “right” solicitor and what checks to ask for- it seems to be a bit of a minefield out there.
Mark Stücklin says:
Very easy. Just fill in this form:
I would just like to say that maybe before making such comments on this particular case and any further cases you need to get the full facts on each case!!
If you had the full facts maybe you would not insinuate that the purchasers were to blame as well as the others involved. You may then of seen where the corruption started ie with an English Company, then through to some of the highest officials in the Province.
And how do I know so much? Maybe it’s because I was sat in the courts through this case along with my parents and friends who own these properties.
Frank – I did not mean to offend or blame anyone, as I am well aware of many difrerent cases, and know various people could be to blame in the different situations, which I add, is NORMALLY NOT the purchaser. If you re-read my post I did not blame anyone in particular at any time – I was just replying to other posts & stating facts in general…also to hopefully open a few eyes of would be purchasers to be extra careful if they are not 100% sure of how Spain works. I know people who have knowingly taken the risk, and others who have sadly been mis-led / mis-sold. At the end of the day, it is the purchaser that loses out, whether their fault or not. Unfortunately for those who assume they have a good solicitor, can still come unstuck for not knowing what checks have either been done or need to be requested. The english put their life savings & their future in the hands of their solicitor for their purchase abroad and expect the same service they would get automatically in UK, which is normally not the case. I am very sorry for your parents & friends, and sincerely hope they do not lose their homes as well. My heart goes out to the owners who have lost their battle. Very very sad ending to a beautiful dream….I would assume in all of your cases that a solicitor was used, to which I would be more enclined to blame the solicitor rather than the local / regional authorities. The properties were either legal or not at the time of purchase, and if not, the solicitor has the contacts & access to gain that knowledge. Best regards to all & good luck for the future.
JOHN MCCANN says:
DO NOT ALLOW ANY SPANISH TO PURCHASE ANY PROPERTY HERE AND LET THEM GO THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS?
Cot Sabacca says:
Well at least some of those unemployed Spanish builders can get a job now
It is well know that a lot has been constructed without permits in Spain, so buyers should be aware and check. The houses shown here are in an absolutely beautiful and breathtaking area, which logically a conservation area. I would bet that the buyers took the risk. I don’t blame them, gorgeous views!
My sister bought on the La Faz estate in Cantoria, 17 houses I believe, in full view of the town hall. Come election time the mayor even visited the estate, made a paella (looking for votes). In court he then denied any knowledge of the estate.
Stephanie Crowther says:
Terry, am researching an item about this problem. Is there any way I can get an email address for your sister?
I am just looking at buying a Villa in Spain.
The contract has been drawn up with the following in it………
La parte compradora conoce que la vivienda carece de LOM y cédula.