May 2016

What is DAFO?

The SOHAPI “What is DAFO?” event at Mis Tapitas (affectionately known as Billy’s Bar), was a great success.
The venue was packed out, with the audience overflowing onto the terrace. It was reported on the front page of Euro Weekly News on April 23rd, and P10 of Sur in English on April 22nd. Also probably inspired by reports of the meeting, BoT 159 , quoting an Olive Press article on the meeting, mentions the Junta’s pressuring Ayuntamientos to declare “99%” of houses built on rural land illegal or needing to apply for DAFO, leading towards the immediate or final demolition of all such properties.

Martyn Wroe points out that I did not mention in the news and web articles the fact that when a householder makes an application for DAFO, they are agreeing to have their building licence annulled!

Here is his comment;
“John’s article, so far as I read it, does not report absolutely everything that was said.
Perhaps it could have started by saying that the presentation was intended to clarify the situation as there have been several conflicting stories re DAFO
The most notable omission is that DAFO (if it is obtained)  annuls any “previous legal documentation that has been obtained “ and which was obtained  “in good faith”, and perhaps emphasising that there is considerable political pressure being put on the Junta to be more flexible, particularly as the current proposals affect many Spanish “traditional” owners – and SOHA is also concerned about them”.

Thanks again, Martyn for all your informed and pertinent comments.

Read the full article in English here.

National Coordinating Body

A national coordinating body has been formed for all the associations of home owners such as SOHA and AUAN. It is called CAJU (Coordinator of Associations for Justice in Urbanism).

Read the full article in English here. Spanish here.

No Demolition Without Compensation

In the North of Spain, judges are reminding the authorities of their duty to ensure payment of compensation to innocent third parties when demolitions are ordered. However, the judge insisted that the demolition should go ahead, after compensation has been assured.

Read the full article in English here. Spanish here.

Hollow Victory for Priors

The Priors have finally been awarded compensation in a Spanish court, but it is only sufficient to cover their legal costs, which have been awarded on a shared basis. Since they never did anything wrong, and were forced to defend themselves in court, this seems totally unjust.
To add insult to injury, Vera Town hall are appealing the sentence. Enough is enough say AUAN.

Read the full article here.

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