Investors' interest in housing in Spain is becoming more visible. Some buy flats in Madrid to move, while others only use the apartment for their holidays. And during the absence of the owners, uninvited guests can settle in Spanish apartments ... How? Find out in this article.
Who are Okupas?
The term "okupas" appeared in the 70s. This was the name given to people who did not agree with the system of that time, which existed under the auspices of the slogan “take everything and divide”. Now in Spain "okupas" are people who illegally live in an uninhabited apartment or house.
Most often, "okupas" settle in apartments that have been uninhabited for years or, for example, in apartments that have passed into the ownership of banks. Usually, illegal immigrants or refugees, people with low social responsibility, act as "occupiers". But sometimes there are decent people who find themselves in a difficult financial situation, and the only way out for them, who are left on the street with their children, is to settle in someone else's house, especially if it has been empty for more than a year.
There is a third category of paybacks that are best to beware of. These are professional swindlers who extort money from housing proprietors. And if they do not meet their halfway and do not pay the amount requested by the extortioners, then the "occupiers" spoil the property and smash the apartment and its contents to shreds, after which the owner will not get off with cosmetic repairs.
How can one avoid becoming a victim of "occupiers"?
If you know in advance that, having bought a house in Spain, you will come here from time to time, then our simple tips will come in handy. First of all, we recommend you get to know your neighbors and build trust-based relations with them so that in the future they can look after your apartment or house. Exchange contacts with them and ask them to report if strangers are seen in your apartment. Connect an alarm system in case of burglary - it is important that the alarm informs the police. Another way to protect your home from uninvited guests is to install bar screens on windows, and in some cases, additional doors. We also advise you to install a modern “smart home” system, in this case you can only open the door using your mobile device: phone or tablet.
How to get rid of «okupas»?
To date, Spanish law prescribes the measures to struggle with «okupas». The proprietor of the housing should contact the police as soon as possible and declare the despoilment of their housing, while it is necessary to have a document confirming the ownership of the property with you. “Occupants” should leave the territory they have seized or prove their rights to it within 5 days, otherwise, the «okupas» are evicted with the help of police officers.
Before the adoption of this law, namely until 2018, it was more difficult to evict the «okupas». The owner could go to court, but such a trial could drag on and last from 6 to 36 months. The owner also had a second variant - to contact the special agency to struggle with the «okupas» Desocupa. But the services of of this agency specialists were expensive - on average 5,000-7,000 euros, which was again unprofitable for the bona fide owner of Spanish property.
Assistance in the selection of housing in Spain
Protect yourself from potential problems — make deals. So you can buy an apartment in a safe district, which will reduce the risk of uninvited guests during your absence. To choose and purchase property in Spain, you can contact the specialists of Spain-Real.Estate. They will answer all your questions and help you with official registration of necessary papers.