Removing squatters and non-paying tenants

Filed under : Litigation

Recent years have seen an increase in the number of squatters and non-paying tenants occupying empty Spanish properties. In the past a type of “professional” squatter took advantage of delays in the traditional criminal and civil procedures for Evictions.  

In 2018 a new law came into force – Law 5/2018 – which modified the laws on Civil Procedure allowing private owners and landlords to apply under an accelerated procedure.

The owner applies to the court for an order asking for a court official or police to attend the property and demand the occupiers provide evidence of their right to stay in the property within 5 days. If the occupier does not respond to the court or provide evidence of their right to stay in the property the Court can order an immediate eviction.

If the occupier opposes the application AND provides evidence of title or proof of payment of rental the matter may go to a full Civil trial. However, if no evidence is provided, the owner does not need to wait the full 20 days and can apply for immediate eviction.

One of the principal advantages of the new law is that the procedure can be commenced without the need to state who the occupiers are. This is particularly important where squatters are concerned as the claim is made against “the unknown occupiers” of the property.

If your holiday or rental property is left empty for long periods there are now a number of companies providing “anti-squatter” locking mechanisms and other forms of security.

Our litigation partner, Javier Florido, and our specialist lawyers can assist with this accelerated eviction procedure and all types of property litigation. We recently had squatters removed within days of receiving instructions so do contact us if you would like advice.

For more information contact us on [email protected] or call on 951 315 161