Squatters rights in Spain are to be reduced under a new bill approved by the Spanish Senate.
Under the new bill, squatters in Spain will be served with an eviction notice and told to either justify ownership of the property through a title deed or show the lack of one on behalf of the claimant.
If the squatters cannot provide sufficient justification, the court will order immediate repossession of the home with no chance of appeals.
Any overseas property investors that have been the victim of squatters in Spain will be pleased to hear that the previous system that allowed the illegal inhabitants to fight the case in court over an average period of 15 months will be changed.
Under the new legislation a fast-track procedure has been introduced allowing owners to get squatters out in a matter of weeks.
The new rules will also prevent extortion of the property owner with the purpose of obtaining financial compensation as a condition for the recovery of the property.
Courts will now serve notice to squatters giving them just five days to produce a valid rental agreement, or any other document enabling them to lawfully stay in the property. Failure to do this will lead to the court issuing an immediate eviction notice.
Opposing any application to have them evicted will not stop the process and the squatters will have no right of appeal.
The new reform will only affect properties whose owners are ‘private individuals, non-profits and public agencies that own social housing’. It leaves out real estate held by banks and investment funds.
The new law reform is expected to be published at some point this summer and will become applicable 20 days after publication.
It seems that the Spanish Senate is finally coming down on the side of property owners and investors.