Norwegian family fight to claim back their family from squatters in Spain

LISBETH and Jørn Hokholt are a Norwegian brother and sister whose parents built a villa in Caleta de Vélez at the end of the sixties. Since they were little they have both spent their holidays in it. Now they have to fight to claim back their family from squatters in Spain.

As adults, they have continued to come with their children and, in recent years, even with their grandchildren. Casa Elsa was a paradise for this family living in Oslo, who at least once a year came to this corner of the Axarquía to rest.

However, for the last year, the house has been squatted in by several families with small children. Neighbours were the ones who first alerted them to this situation and now they have to fight to claim back control of their family home.

The last trial in Vélez-Málaga, held last Thursday, September 17, was postponed to November 12, since a public defender had not been appointed for the squatters.

“It is an absolutely outrageous case, a cluster of nonsense, abandonment of functions and judicial errors,” sums up the victim’s lawyer, Eduardo López-Chicheri.

“To begin with, the National Police that picked up the complaint did not go to the house until we went in December, three months later,” he explains. “The officers told us that the squatters were well known, violent people and that it was better not to confront them,” he adds.

It was then that the lawyer filed a first lawsuit, which was dismissed because the judge said that it had not been proven that it was a second residence. Subsequently, he filed another procedure, which was affected by the arrival of the pandemic.

“After the postponement to November, I have registered a letter requesting that the eviction be ordered in application of the latest instructions issued by the State Attorney General’s Office,” explains the lawyer.

Pending a response, the Hokholt’s have not been able to travel due to the health situation. “They are very overwhelmed, for them this whole situation is inconceivable that it occurs in Europe,” says López-Chicheri.

Lisbeth and Jørn continue to pay the bills for the chalet as they wait for a date to fight to claim back that which they fear is  now”totally trashed.”

“From what we saw from the outside in December there was already considerable damage. The squatters challenged us by telling us that they would only leave with a court order, ”explains the lawyer.

Last December, when Lisbeth and Jørn Hokholt hired the services of the Malaga lawyer Eduardo López-Chicheri, they went to Casa Elsa with the National Police and a crew from Norwegian public television, the NRK, who wanted to record a report on the squatting in Spain.

“It has had a huge repercussion in that country, the real estate agencies that work here with these clients say that there has been a very clear flight effect, nobody wants to buy houses in a country where these situations are allowed,” says the lawyer.

After that broadcast, Lisbeth and Jørn have received many calls from other compatriots who have the same problem in Spain. “There are many stories, and everyone is as shocked as we are,” she says.

“Some have told me things much worse than what we have experienced. What we cannot understand is why the Spanish authorities are not doing anything about it. This is a disgrace for the country and scares away potential home buyers,” says Jørn.

We hope you enjoyed this article “Norwegian family fight to claim back their family from squatters in Spain”.

You may also wish to read, “Squatting in Andalucia is now at a historic high.”

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Written by

Damon Mitchell

From the interviewed to the interviewer

As frontman of a rock band Damon used to court the British press, now he lives the quiet life in Spain and seeks to get to the heart of the community, scoring exclusive interviews with ex-pats about their successes and struggles during their new life in the sun.

Originally from Scotland but based on the coast for the last three years, Damon strives to bring the most heartfelt news stories from the spanish costas to the Euro Weekly News.

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