Foreign buyers protected from illegally built Spanish homes

Malaga, Andalusia, where the seaside dreams of many Brits crumbled due to illegally built homes Photo: Veronica Bautista

Thousands of Brits swooped upon Spain’s property market in the 1990s and 2000s, as low prices, sunny beaches and the country’s building boom offered a bargain too good to be true. Years later, though, it emerged that the homes were exactly that, as developers had built many properties without planning permission from authorities.

In Andalusia alone, there are estimated to be 300,000 illegally built homes.

Courts have, in the past, ordered for homes to be demolished, leaving homeowners or new buyers shocked and without a property, while a lack of documentation has also stopped others from being able to secure electricity or other vital utilities.

Last year, though, a court ruling in Andalusia found that four British families should be given compensation as they had bought the properties in good faith. The landmark step in the quest from many lawyers to save homes from being demolished has now been given a bigger boost with the new legislation passed by the government this month, which will make it mandatory for buyers to be compensated, should their home be demolished.

One campaign group, AUAN, has worked for over 10 years in favour of homeowners, inspiring similar groups to be formed across the country.

Global Property Guide reports that the pressure group will continue to campaign until all the illegal properties are recognised by the law.