SOHA progress news 2016 – 2017

Troubled times for those who bought their homes in good faith.

One year has passed since the Andalusian Parliament approved welcome changes in the planning laws, regarding homes on non-urbanisable land which had been split into “parcels”, and had no escape from their illegal status.
It made it possible to become “Assimilado Fuero de Ordinacion” or AFO, a status which has no English equivalent, but might roughly translate as “Accepted Outside Planning Regulations”. This status allows the owners to be listed in the Register de Propriedad, and to connect the basic services of electricity and water, (which some have lacked so far, while others, owing to the apparent legality of all their documents, have long since been connected).
Nevertheless, the bureaucratic process has been very slow, and buyers in good faith are still waiting for their ayuntamientos to approve their applications for AFO status, explained Mario Blancke, spokesman for SOHA.
There are between 25,000 and 30,000 houses in this irregular situation in Andalucia.

The change to the LOUA (Andalusia’s planning law), bringing in urgently needed changes regarding homes on non-urbanisable land which had been split into “parcels”, was approved by 88 votes for, with 19 abstentions from IU and Podemos on 20th July 2016.

The import of the change to the law is that owners of homes on parcellised non-urbanisable land can now avoid demolition of their homes, providing that they were built at least 6 years ago. Previously they were unable to open any judicial process, which meant that they were vulnerable to demolition at any time, causing great anxiety and mental stress. The changes to the law gave the Junta de Andalucia 6 months to prepare the documentation and arrange the procedures, and gave the ayuntamientos 2 years to regularise the planning status of these homes.

It is a year since the expiry of the date set by the Junta de Andalucia for the ayuntamientos to submit their Avance del Decreto 2/2012. This document refers to the status of these homes, which may be granted the status AFO, which the changes to the law now allow owners to apply for.
Nevertheless, there is no clarity about what will happen to ayuntamiento which have not done their homework, and to home owners who have not taken advantage of the new law to protect their homes.

Philip Smalley, President of SOHA said, “The next step in our efforts will be to work for the complete legalisation of homes built under the building licences issued by the ayuntamientos”
He detailed the following steps in pursuit of this aim;
Requesting the reduction from 20yrs to 10yrs of the arbitrary time limit set by the Consejo Consultivo Andaluz for taking action against planning violations.
Changes in the AFO status regarding; the right to usufruct, the right to a mortgage (which has already been requested at the national Commission of Justice), and the right to access the basic supplies of water, electricity, electricity and telephone.

Mario Blancke wound up with this important thought; But who is guilty? The politicians, the owners, the lawyers….. or is it better not to look for the blame?
There was no control, or determination to stop this development frenzy. It was a time when a lot of cash was splashed, which benefitted a lot of people, and which resolved an unemployment problem in the countryside. What is unjust is to blame and punish the home owners for the resulting mess.

If you find yourself in this plight, join SOHA. (Click here to join)

You need our help; we need yours.

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“Una vida bajo la incertidumbre para los compradores de buena fe”.

A punto de cumplirse un año desde que el pasado mes de julio se aprobara en el Parlamento Andaluz el Proyecto de Ley por el que se modifica la Ley 2/2002 de 17 de Diciembre que establece medidas urgentes en relación a estas viviendas afectadas por parcelaciones urbanísticas en suelo no urbanizable, a las que se le ofrecía como salida la posibilidad de ser declaradas como asimilado fuera de ordenación (AFO).
Se trata de una figura que permitirá a sus dueños poder registrar las casas en el Registro de la Propiedad y además acceder a los servicios básicos (agua y luz), algo a lo que hasta ahora no podía aspirar, mientras que otros, bajo la apariencia total de legalidad de sus documentos ya disfrutaban de todos estos servicios.
Sin embargo, el proceso administrativo es lento, y los compradores de buena fe seguirán luchando por legalización de las viviendas construidas bajo la autoridad de los permisos expedidos por el ayuntamiento local.
En Andalucía existen casi 30.000 viviendas en esta situación irregular.

Si estás en esta situación, únete a SOHA aqui.

Necesitamos tu ayuda”.

Recent Posts

Spanish Government accused of pushing illegal homes to Britons

A register with details of Spain’s three million empty homes fails to flag all of those earmarked for demolition

he Spanish government has been accused of pushing illegally built homes to British buyers.

The country has an estimated three million homes standing empty due to the property crash that began in 2007.

One million of these may have been built illegally due to rife corruption in the construction industry and town halls which gave permission to build. Many will be demolished.

The Spanish government wants to sell some of the three million vacant homes and runs an online list.

But a report by the Daily Mail suggests many of the homes registered are due for demolition – but fail to state this on the website.

Estate agents are also accused of pushing homes which are illegal and, in some cases, set to be bulldozed.

Join SOHA and fight this injustice here.

The Mail found a remote three-bedroom villa in Andalucia on sale for £64,300, which was due to be knocked down.

Legal experts said it was often impossible to tell if a house had been built illegally.

An attempt by the Spanish minister for development, José Blanco, to sell the merits of buying in Spain in 2011 was criticised by those lumbered with illegal properties.

The roadshow, held in London, aimed to “highlight the strengths of our economy, transparency and legal certainty of our planning legislation”.
An estimated 100,000 Britons have bought homes that have or will be bulldozed.

In many cases, British pensioners have sunk their life savings into a dream home, only to find themselves homeless and penniless.

Pensioners Len and Helen Prior paid €375,000 for a home in Andalucia in 2002. It was demolished in 2008.

Maura Hillen, president of expat campaign group AUAN, told the Mail: “The Spanish government is trying to encourage foreigners to buy in Spain and is claiming it has brought in measures to make it safe to do so. But buying is not down to skill, it’s still luck.”

Among its demands are that any proceedings relating to the possibility of a property being illegal should be on the register and failure to do so would leave the government liable.

Despite the ongoing problems, demand to move to Spain remains high among Britons.

The Foreign Office said 66pc of the enquiries it received at a property abroad conference last month were about Spain, compared to 24pc for France.

It has issued guidance on its website on how Britons can avoid being ripped off.

You can Donate to help SOHA fight against these problems here.

The Spanish government said it had taken steps to ensure that “irregularities in the property market are finally settled”, adding that some reforms have already been introduced and that further legislation would protect potential buyers and those who already own homes in Spain.

Spain’s ambassador to London, Federico Trillo, told the Telegraph in July about his government’s efforts to improve investor confidence. “There has been a strong reaction by the Spanish government in this area,” he said.

“Britons buying overseas properties in Spain is vital for us. The government has sought to clarify the situation, with reforms that have already been introduced and others that are under way, to ensure the legislation protects potential investors and those that already have homes in Spain.”

The new Coastal Law, approved by parliament in May, was aimed at dealing with legislation that made it difficult for owners of seafront homes to refurbish or sell on their homes, and led to examples of expropriation without compensation.

The reforms made it possible to sell on concessions that previously could only be inherited.

The Spanish government has also insisted legislation is under way to legitimise tens of thousands of illegal properties.

It has attempted to bolster demand from other countries outside the EU with the ‘Golden Visa’ system.

It has prompted a 2,500 per cent increase in interest from Middle Eastern buyers in the year to date, compared with the same period in 2012, according to data from Taylor Wimpey España.

Since October 1 2013, any non-EU national coming to Spain with more than €500,000 to invest has been automatically granted a residency permit, which has resulted in increased interest not only from the Middle East, but also from Asia and Russia.

Official data showed foreigner buyers were behind 12pc of all home purchases in the third quarter, from June to September. Britons made up the biggest proportion of these, at 15pc, followed by the French (11.5pc) , Russians (9.35pc). Belgians (7.25pc) and Germans (6.9pc).

Spanish house prices were down 5.4pc on a year earlier, although this was an improvement from last year when prices were falling at an annual rate of nearly 14pc.

Join SOHA and fight this injustice here.

Source; The Telegraph