Illegal house squatters have occupied over 9,000 homes in Spain so far this year
Spanish authorities have received a total of 9,949 complaints for ‘squatting’ of homes in the last year and a half. Of these, 3,646 (36.64%) of the properties were inhabited.
These are the figures that the department, headed by Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has sent to a group of Vox party ministers who were interested in the evolution of this continuing phenomenon.
The ministry took the opportunity to explain to them that the generic term “property occupation” includes different types of crimes of the Penal Code.
On one hand, for the act of trespassing (article 202), in which the Security Forces act “urgently”, they can clear the homes of squatters immediately” provided they have permission from the resident and the latter has filed a complaint.
On the other hand, article 245 is related to the usurpation of real estate “whether with violence or not, and whether they are residential or not.”
Here, the minister adds that the behavior of the agents is subject to a judicial eviction order and the manifest intention of the owner to recover his property unless they can intervene at the time the crime is being committed, “with violence or intimidation.”, which case they can do immediate evictions.
523 complaints per day
After these explanations, the Government highlighted that “complaints for ‘squatting’, without differentiating between trespassing and usurpation of homes have dropped between 7 and 10% so far in 2022.”
The Community of Madrid is at the forefront of complaints relating to both inhabited and empty homes. A total of 972 ‘squats’ of inhabited houses and 805 of uninhabited houses were recorded in this period, that is, a total of 1,777, which is more than triple the figures registered in Barcelona, which is the sixth with the most complaints across the provinces.
There, the total number of complaints was 524 and, unlike in Madrid, there were more those related to houses without inhabitants (305) than with them (219).
Coastal areas with second homes
The second province with the most housing ‘squats’ is Valencia, with 979 (633 uninhabited and 346 inhabited), followed by Malaga, another coastal area with a large number of second homes. In this Andalusian province, 955 complaints have accumulated (805 relating to uninhabited houses and 155 inhabited).
Seville is the fourth with the most complaints about squatting, with a total of 863, mostly also empty (667), compared to 196 inhabited. The fifth is Murcia (614 ‘squats’, 449 uninhabited dwellings, and 165 inhabited) and the sixth is Barcelona with the aforementioned data.
In seventh place is another coastal province such as Alicante, with a global figure of 430, and once again here there are more empty squatted homes (252) than inhabited ones (430). In the Balearic Islands, 391 complaints have been recorded (203 non-inhabited properties and 188 inhabited).
The Spanish Interior Ministry indicates the causes that increase this type of crime.
One is the “high” number of empty buildings (in fact, it points out that there are more complaints of usurpation) and people who lose their homes due to debts or loss of employment, Others are due to the economic situation derived from the concatenation of the Covid crisis, the “international logistics and production crisis” and that generated by the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.