Our Fears

  1. We are fearful that current actions, especially those relating to any fines; demands for infrastructure payments; and the like; will lead to many homeowners being put into a worse financial situation than they are in at present. This is already leading to much stress and anxiety for our members and, of course, many others, especially as the majority of our residents are pensioners.
  2. We are fearful that this could also lead to many being forced to return to their homeland having lost their life savings because they cannot afford to legalise their home.
  3. We fear that our constructors, our Town Halls, our architects and our lawyers will get away with what they have done because continents drift faster than a Spanish civil court case. A moot point anyway if you can’t afford to sue.
  4. We are concerned that NEW areas of urbanisations will be included in some plans before the legalisation of properties already being occupied.
  5. We believe that if the current plan of action continues without significant change many owners will not see a solution in their lifetime. Under current Planning Laws (an urbanisation can only grow by a permitted amount over a certain period). This restriction has knowingly been far exceeded in many districts. Many owners will therefore not be made legal as authorities ‘hide’ behind this rule. The very one they broke in the first place! This law needs to be altered to allow for the existence of homes on rustic land for purposes not related to agriculture. You can imagine the constant fear and concern this brings when people see a distinct possibility that they will pass the problem and the possible financial burden on to their children.
  6. We fear that we will be blamed and held responsible. In many cases homeowners have been ‘duped’ into becoming a promoter of their property therefore liable to future infrastructure costs and any possible penalties (civil and criminal) that should have been the responsibility of the builders. We are already experiencing a problem where builders charge owners for various utilities and then fail to pay the supply company. Some owners have now been cut off from these services and asked to pay the outstanding charges or pay a large sum for re-connection.
  7. We fear that we are seen as a ‘cash generator’ for our impoverished Councils. More than 50% of our members do not have access to mains water or electricity. Some local councils now require that the owners pay exorbitant amounts to be given permission to connect to these services.
  8. We fear there is no justice! While many of our Human Rights have and continue to be abused, we know that we would struggle to see justice due to the slowness of Spain’s judicial system. While it would be our right to do so, it is a futile action and one that would probably take as long, if not longer, than the process they are currently taking. Many cannot afford it. To this extent we implore you to continue to seek, on our behalf, a fair and speedy solution.
  9. We fear (with some justification) that we will be pilloried in the Spanish press, made scapegoats and portrayed as somehow complicit in the scandal of urban abuse. For example, an article in Teleprensa published 2nd September 2009 titled ‘Harsh attack by the British Community in Cantoria on the issue of illegal houses’ asserts that British residents knowingly purchased property on non-urbanised land, made ‘black money’ payments to avoid Spanish tax, bought houses cheaply and most bizarrely of all, moved to Spain to take advantage of a free health care system.
  10. We fear that our homes will be left in limbo, outside of any known planning regulation or ‘fuera de ordenacion’ with semi-legal status and simply left to return to the dust as a forgotten statistic of the Spanish planning scandal.  We observe that this is already becoming a reality as the town plans emerge.