The PP party now led by Alberto Núñez Feijóo has announced it will propose new legislation to fast-track the eviction of squatters, reports the Spanish press. However, when the PP was actually governing Spain, they did nothing to reform Spain’s squatter friendly legal system, so gestures in opposition have to be taken with a pinch of salt.
The PP – Spain’s main right-of-centre party currently in opposition – is soon to propose a national law to evict squatters within 24 hours and jail them for up to five years, reports the Spanish paper El Español.
The PP is responding to a squatting problem of dramatic proportions in Spain that affects locals and foreign second-home owners alike. According to a platform for victims of squatters, 120,000 families in Spain currently have squatters in their main or second-home, and frequently find their property turned into a drug-dealing den.
In the face of this problem, the current government coalition of Socialists and Communists led by Pedro Sanchéz has done “absolutely nothing” says the PP spokesman in the Congress of Deputies. “The Socialist party in the days before Sánchez used to defend private property, but these days it has moved towards the position of the radical Left.”
The PP’s proposal envisages reinstating the crime of usurpation of property, with sentences of between three and five years jail, agravated by mafia-type cases. The PP also proposes fast-track evictions within 24 hours in the case of ‘flagrant crimes’, and denying squatters the right to public services and inscription in the padron, or municipal register.
Finally, the PP also propose empowering communities of owners to report squatters and start the eviction process. Oftentimes neighbours are the first to realise that squatters have taken over a property in the area.
There is zero chance of these proposales becoming law anytime soon. The Spanish squatter problem will continue to grow, especially in the region of Catalonia, where almost half of all reported cases of squatting take place.
All owners of property in Spain should take reasonable steps to protect their homes against squatters. It is a low-probability, high-cost risk.