Friends of SOHA

We have produced an email which we would like you to forward to everyone who may be sympathetic to our situation. Remember, the greater our numbers the louder our voice will be. If there are people in your contact list who you think may be happy to sign-up as a Friend of SOHA, please send the email to them. Thank you.

You have received this email because somebody in your contact/address book thought you may be interested in our plight and has therefore forwarded it to you.

Did you know that the Juntas (regional governments of Spain) are challenging the legality of thousands of licences issued by numerous Town Halls over the last decade or so?

For more information please have a look at some of the articles about Helen and Len Prior on our website and also in national and international press.

These licences were applied for and issued legally with all fees and taxes paid but are now on the danger list.

The Junta claims that the Town Halls should not have issued the licences and therefore they are taking the local Town Halls to court and retrospectively cancelling the licences before going on to apply for demolition orders.

We are a group of private home owners here in the Axarquia region of Spain, who are affected by this process.

We live in the houses that are involved and we face the prospect of having our licences revoked and ultimately having our homes demolished even though we have acted entirely properly and legally throughout.

We have formed an official action group (SOHA) to help and support each other and to try and stop this action of the Junta.

There are a number of similar groups being formed across Spain as the Junta in other areas are also acting without any care or consideration of the innocent owners, who also face the prospect of their homes being demolished.

Our aim is to provide help and support to anyone who may be facing the threat of demolition, whilst continuing to campaign for an end to this unreasonable and devastating practice.

Obviously the more members we have, the louder our voice will be and the more difficult it will be for our concerns to be ignored.

For this reason we are trying to bolster support for our organisation by having a class of membership called “Friend of SOHA”.

Membership is free and open to anyone, from any country, who feels that we are being unfairly treated and would like to add their name to our list of supporters. If you would like to become a Friend of SOHA please send an email to stating your name, your location and whether or not you wish to be included on our mailing list for news and future developments.

We very much hope that you will help us in our efforts to bring an end to this unreasonable and potentially devastating practice.

If you would like any more information before deciding, please refer to our website at

Finally and if it’s not too much trouble, we would be extremely grateful if you would forward this email to those people in your contact list who you think may also be happy to sign-up as a Friend of SOHA.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Membership Secretary

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