Property squatting is a problem that worries Spanish owners increasingly, which should come as no surprise. As pointed out by Tecnotramit, it has grown in recent years since mafias that found profitability in said practice have proliferated.
‘The judiciary, public prosecutor, and police must acknowledge squatting has become deeply embedded in our society and has grown to an unsustainable extent. It has become a means for organisations to make money,’ as explained by the Legal Department Director at Tecnotramit, David Viladecans Jiménez, in relation to the extortion mechanisms currently performed on owners.
The expert believes the key to end this issue from a legal point of view is to attack the monetary incentive when abandoning the property. In this sense, Viladecans requests specialist police units to discover the maze behind each specific case: ‘It doesn’t make sense to arrest a small-time dealer because somebody else will replace him tomorrow. The distribution and supply network must be hit and the same happens with squatting.’
The new Housing Law is not the solution
In order to turn this situation around, Tecnotramit’s Legal Department Director assures the future Housing Law ‘will not solve anything’ since he believes legal instruments are not the issue but rather ‘a lack of willpower and severity’ on the police, public prosecutor, and judges’ parts, who have ignored the issue until squatting has become ‘a difficult to manage monster.’
Viladecans Jiménez clearly confirms that police, the public prosecutor, and judiciary ‘can do more’ than what has been done until now since not all measures in their reach have been enforced so a felony is not committed. Likewise, he reminds that, beyond breaking and entering, there are frequent instances of furniture theft, injuries, threats and duress, and the possibility of being a member of an organisation which commits said acts.
‘All of this indifference on the police, public prosecutor, and judges’ parts has caused the appearance of eviction specialised companies,’ as Viladecans recalls. He then adds: ‘Squatters are being encouraged to do this again every time they are paid, therefore driving victims to take justice into their own hands.’