February 10, 2014 at 10:45 am #57938loganParticipant
I lifted this from another forum. Thought it may be of interest. Worrying trends. 🙁
It’s a little-known market, but it really exists, and it is expanding: sales and rentals of ‘Casas Okupadas’. This is the term used in Spain for homes lying empty after the original residents were evicted for defaulting on their mortgage, or because they were bought by a bank and never inhabited, or even because it was subsidized housing that had not yet been assigned to a low-income family; in any case, all these homes end up being occupied illegally by squatters, known in Spain as “okupas” (squatters).
But now, squatters are not just those who pull down a door and move in by themselves. Instead, organized gangs in Madrid are taking over these vacant properties first, and offering to either sell or rent them to would-be squatters. “Purchasing” one of these apartments costs anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 euros, while renting is more expensive in the long run, since the gangs ask for 200 to 400 euros a month.
In exchange, they guarantee customers immediate access to the home as well as free electricity, gas and water services, and some even offer free heating (typically, this is courtesy of other building residents who see their own bills rise mysteriously). The new residents don’t even have to pay building maintenance fees. Their situation is guaranteed until a court rules to have them evicted. But months could elapse before that occurs, if not years. The Regional Federation of Neighbourhood Associations (FRAMV) says that this is a growing trend, especially in the residential areas south of the capital.
Mortgage and rent defaults caused by the economic crisis have meant that many people were evicted and left without their homes, leading to a notable increase of vacant apartments. This in turn has led to a spike in illegal occupation: homeless people are taking advantage of the “availability” of these homes, but how to know which properties are really uninhabited, to avoid additional trouble? Organized gangs can provide the answer to that, in exchange for a certain amount of money. These criminal organizations do not hold sway over an entire region; instead, they are small groups who wield their power at the neighbourhood level. They have their rates: 200 to 500 euros to unlock an empty home; 200 to 400 euros to rent it out, and 1,000 to 2,000 euros to “purchase” one.
In Madrid, these groups operate mostly in the southern districts of Carabanchel, Villaverde, Usera, Arganzuela and Puente de Vallecas, according to FRAVM. These lower-income areas see the largest concentrations of unoccupied homes and subsidized housing in the city. According to 2011 figures from the National Statistics Institute, there are around 306,000 empty homes in the capital. But there is no data on the number of housing units which are illegally occupied.
February 12, 2014 at 11:44 am #119149
What a mess. I knew okupas were on the rise, but I didn’t know organised gangs were moving to make a business out of it.
February 12, 2014 at 1:47 pm #119151
Where there is no law/order it is not difficult for organised gangs to move in.
February 12, 2014 at 7:05 pm #119156
Are you suggesting there is no law or order in Spain? There are plenty of problems but it’s still a fundamentally safe country with plenty (too much) law and order. The lack of social unrest has been one of the mysteries of this crisis. We’ve had nothing like the London riots.
February 12, 2014 at 9:20 pm #119152
@Mark: In a Country where Courts do not work, rights cannot be enforced, Judges, Lawyers, police are corrupt People committing serious crimes are let off. All this allows organised criminal to move in. Yes in my books that is my suggestion.
The London riots is a good example as the Police did not even bother visiting Mark Duggens family to advise,update apologise,disproportionate number of black people dying in prison, profiling etc allowed the rioters to organise if the police acted on issues that had been festering for years the lawlessness would not have taken root.
This is not an issue about Spain v London/England as the two societies are very different. As you had made parallels I had to entangle the issue.
February 12, 2014 at 9:25 pm #119157
The rioting may have started with Duggan but it was mainly about looting 😈 why would the Police apologise for shooting that asshole. Word is that there was a sigh of relief in the local community when he was shot 😥
No riots on the same scale in Spain yet but there are certainly lots of mini ones in immigrant areas in Madrid.
February 12, 2014 at 9:48 pm #119159
You may have lived in Tottenham and know the sentiments. Have some respect for a dead person. I suppose you would like to be remembered as the as… who posted on this forum once you are dead.
Police, needed to apologise and advise his family of the situation. I suppose you do not realise that in UK policing is done by consensus and you cannot kill somebody irrespective of his/her reputation, colour of the skin, political views etc..
February 12, 2014 at 9:55 pm #119160
I don’t have any respect for that guy, he was pure evil. The Jury decided correctly, end of.l
February 12, 2014 at 10:02 pm #119161
Your respect or my respect does not count as we did not know him. However it seems that you knew him well. The
jury did what they had to do.
To call a dead man as….e. You disgust me. This definitely ranks at the top of all your vile post over the years.
February 12, 2014 at 10:18 pm #119162
I don’t care what you think. That guy was a criminal and he deserved all he got. Thank god I didn’t know him. I think you are despicable too for defending the indefensible. I repeat he was an asshole and a waste of space. According to reports he and his gang terrorised the area. Good riddance! Say what you want, you have lost my respect and I don’t give a toss 😈
Since when did death turn someone into a Saint 😯 “n
February 12, 2014 at 10:30 pm #119163
Katy, you are a credit to your upbringing and I am sure your parents are really proud of you.
I am not going to get down to your level as there lies in the difference.
February 12, 2014 at 10:36 pm #119164
Real nice person wasn’t he. You should be proud defending such a man 😮
February 12, 2014 at 10:43 pm #119165
I am not doing either. I simply have the human decency to not to call a dead man an A….e. Something that you lack.
Even I will not consider you as an As…e when you are gone.
Irrespective of what link you post. I had followed the case he may not be a person I would share a beer. I would still not call him what you had called him after he is dead.
February 24, 2014 at 10:36 am #119231
Guardian have picked up this story:
March 30, 2014 at 8:12 am #119372
Its a great pity Spain cannot clean up its legal systems. The basic problem is the lawyers are only interested in making money for themselves and the more archaic things are the more opportunities to exploit people to make more. Fortunately the people I bought from live in another flat in the same building and are always there and look after everything -for nothing ! But I am sure I would never buy anything in Spain again until they become a country that you can rely upon to get justice there if you are an owner. The EU could help a lot by harmonising a lot of property law -bringing in something like a National Conditions of Sale that is common and making squatting illegal -allowing non residents to stay longer in their properties than 182 days in one year providing they don’t exceed an average of that in 3 years and prove it -to cover for emergencies and bad long winters in their native countries -and making Lawyers associations as transparent as the Law Society in the UK where you do get a chance of a successful appeal where in Spain there is no chance !
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