Maura Hillen, President of AUAN says that “the legislative change that took place last year was phenomenal, it is working very well, and it is a joy to see retired elderly people who can at last obtain paperwork and services for their houses. However, as we said prior to its approval, this change excludes numerous groups of houses that are somewhat artificially classified, in our opinion, as ‘asentamientos’.
That is to say, after the reform, the law now distinguishes between two groups of houses: one group is called a ‘parcelacion’ and this group can now obtain paperwork and services, and the other is called an ‘asentamiento’, which cannot immediately be regularised. In fact, ‘asentamientos’ must pass through a difficult and usually ineffective process to normalise their situation via changes in the general town plan, something that is rarely achieved in practice”.
She added, “In the meantime, the people living in these asentamientos are unable to access mains water and other services. Many are unable to obtain their escrituras, given that the land is sometimes still in the name of the promoter, and cannot be transferred, because the law does not permit the land to be segregated. Meanwhile, embargos accumulate on some of these houses with the consequent risk of the property being auctioned off to pay the debts of the promoter”.
For his part Gerardo Vazquez, the lawyer for AUAN stated “We warned of this problem during the last reform. It has been said that there is going to be another new set of planning laws (LOUA) but, honestly, there appears to be no sign of it at the moment, and we have the feeling that this new LOUA is not going to adequately solve the problem”.
He went on to add that “since its formation AUAN, an association formed to defend third party purchasers in good faith of these houses, has seen much anguish, with homeowners trapped in houses that they cannot sell. Its members are in the majority retired British people, many of whom wish to return to their homeland to spend their final years and they cannot do so. They will die without seeing their house regularised and nobody, irrespective of where they come from, deserves to be treated like that”.
Maura Hillen added “We want the political parties to be aware of this problem which affects many houses in the Valley of Almanzora and tens, if not hundreds of thousands of houses in Andalusia. Therefore, we are initiating a series of meetings with these parties and we ask that they meet with those affected, and take heed of the urgent necessity to provide a solution for these houses”.
AUAN has already had a meeting with representatives of Ciudadanos from municipalities in the Levante area and the Valley of Almanzora to ask for an urgent solution and are grateful for the good reception they received.