Changes in the law finally bring property protection

MEETING: AUAN representatives and Jose Luis Sanchez Teruel, PSOE Secretary General for Almeria.

NO home may now be demolished in Spain without prior compensation.
A change in the law allows courts to delay demolition of illegally built homes that were bought in good faith until the owners receive compensation.
The amendments apply to demolitions ordered by both criminal and contentious-administrative courts.  These were initially proposed by the PSOE socialist opposition party and subsequently agreed with the governing Partido Popular (PP).
These changes owe much to associations like Abusos Urbanisticos Almanzora No (AUAN) in Almeria and SOHA in Malaga.
Both represent homeowners whose houses are threatened with demolition through no fault of their own. “Now we are able to tell foreign investors that they can buy property here,” said Gerardo Vazquez, who is spokesman and legal adviser to AUAN.
He was speaking during a meeting between the collective and Jose Luis Sanchez Teruel, the PSOE’s secretary general for Almeria.  AUAN expressed public thanks to the party for guiding the legislation through the Senate and Parliament.
“The British like this part of Spain and want to invest here, but under a system that protects them,” AUAN said.
Possibly the last word rests with senior judge Tomas Cobo.  Speaking during a joint conference of the General Judiciary Council and Spain’s Colleges of Architects in Almeria last June, he claimed that town halls have little appetite for demolitions.
Few will be carried out, he predicted:  “If homes are torn down, a mayor not only has to face protests from residents but the town hall must now pay compensation,” he said.

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