- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- We are concerned that NEW areas of urbanisations
will be included in some plans before the legalisation of properties already
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.