Extending the eviction ban is good news for squatter gangs who make a living by extorting money out of second-home owners in Spain.
Back in March 2020, not long after the coronavirus pandemic took off, the Spanish government introduced temporary measures to protect tenants in arrears from eviction, and later on extended the eviction ban to the 9th of May this year, when the national ‘State of Alarm’ is due to expire.
Now the government has announced it will extend the ban another three months to August, as the ban starts to look more like a permanent fixture. There is no reason to think it will not be extended again before it expires in August.
Squatter-friendly eviction ban
The eviction ban is not meant to help squatter-mafias extort ransom money from second-home owners, but that is what it does in practise.
It sends a message that the government disapproves of evictions, and encourages the police to leave squatters to the courts, rather than evict on the spot. That leaves owners at the mercy of Spain’s squatter-friendly judicial system, and makes them prime targets for extortion.
Once squatters are installed, and left undisturbed by the police, the eviction ban makes it even more difficult to get them out by introducing yet another bureaucratic procedure that squatter gangs know how to exploit to their advantage, as they run rings around a plodding administration.
By making it so expensive to evict squatters the legal way, and protecting squatters at the expense of owners, the Spanish State invites the extortion of owners by organised gangs of squatters holding second-homes to ransom, as I recently reported in this case of extortion by squatters in Sitges.
As the government repeatedly extends the eviction ban, it’s safe to assume that cases of extortion will grow, and second-home owners are a favourite target of extortion gangs.
I’m preparing a guide looking at how to protect your property from squatters in Spain, so sign up for my news bulletin to be kept informed. I’d also love to hear from anyone with personal experience or useful knowledge to share. You can reach me through the contact form below.