The key to thwarting a squatter extortion in Spain is reacting quickly to increase the chance that police will kick the squatters out on the spot. If you're an absentee second-home owner, that means you need someone on the ground in Spain with a power of attorney to deal with the police on your behalf.
If squatters get installed in your home in Spain the only way to get them out is through a long and costly legal process that could leave you financially and emotionally drained, or by paying them to leave. Either way it will likely cost you thousands of euros, and the police will not help you, preferring to leave it to the courts.
The only way the police will intervene on your behalf is if you can convince them quickly at the very start that you are the owner of the property, and that the squatters are trespassing having just broken in. The squatters, for their part, will try to convince the police they live in your property, or have a legitimate right to be there, and may have a fake rental contract. To some extent it’s a question of who presents a more convincing case to the police when they first turn up at the door. This is a critical moment because if the police leave without removing the squatters your options are a long and costly legal process or pay the squatters extortion money to leave.
How do you convince the police that you are the rightful owner of a property if you are not there, especially when time is of the essence? You need to be there when the police first arrive, or at least within 48 hours of the squatter invasion, and you need certified documents like your title deed or escritura to prove your ownership rights to the police.
Most foreign owners are not in a position to react quickly to a squatter invasion, and don’t have the right documentation on hand, which makes them sitting ducks for squatter mafias in Spain. If you keep the only copy of your deeds in your property in Spain and squatters get in, your ability to respond is even more complicated.
So if you own a holiday-home in Spain, make sure you don’t leave your only copy of the escritura in the property, and make sure you have someone on the ground who can respond on your behalf if squatters get in.
This is why our anti-squatter service delivers so much value for absentee second-home owners in Spain. We are the only security company that arranges a power-of-attorney for us to deal with the police on the owner's behalf, and hold copies of key documents like the escritura to convince the police of ownership. We also offer a service that takes care of all the legal costs of eviction if squatters do get installed, which sadly can’t be ruled out completely because of the way things work in Spain.
Protecting your property from squatters in Spain is all about putting in place your ability to react quickly with proof of ownership and convince the police of your case so that they evict the squatters on the spot. Get in touch to find out how Vesta Vigilar can help build your defences against squatters in Spain.