What do you want to know about the squatter threat in Spain?

squatters called okupas in Spain
Property occupied by squatters in Spain. Wikimedia commons

It seems that squatters are a bigger threat to property owners in Spain than in most European countries, so it pays to understand the threat if you own a property in Spain. As I’m working on a guide to help people understand the threat I’d like to hear from anyone who has a question on the subject they would like answered. 

One of the questions I’ll be trying to answer is how big is the threat of okupas (Spanish for squatters) in reality, based on data, rather than anecdotes that sound alarming. And how does Spain compare to other countries? 

My initial research suggests there isn’t much research, which is surprising considering how important the question is. Squatting is a complex matter that touches on fundamental questions such as housing and property rights, yet it doesn’t get much attention, from what I can tell.

Low-probability, high-cost

Another related question is how big is the risk once squatters get in? The risk is lower in jurisdictions where squatters are easily and quickly evicted, which also reduces the risk of squatters getting in. My hypothesis is that, in Spain, there is a greater risk of squatters getting in than in other countries, and once they are in, the cost to owners is higher than in other countries. Put another way, there’s a bigger chance of it happening, and when it does happen, it’s much worse. That said, it’s still a low-probability risk, but high-cost when it happens.

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