The illegal squatting of homes is one of the problems that has grown the most in recent years as a result of the economic crisis. This problematic mainly affects second homeswhich tend to be more unprotected.
Saber what to do in cases where your house has been squatted is essentialespecially the first hours after the event occurred.
When is squatting illegal?
The squatting of a dwelling is illegal when the individuals do not have the permission of the owner, that is, when it comes to illegitimate squatting.
In these cases, the Penal Code sanctions this event of differently when the dwelling is inhabited repeatedly than when it is not.. The same thing happens when the squatting is carried out with violence and intimidation.
The best option to prevent these situations will always be have state-of-the-art security equipmentsuch as: security cameras, home alarms, anti-bumping locks and other methods, as well as citizen collaboration and constant visits (in the case of second homes).
My house has been squatted: habitual residence or second residence?
The procedures and resources to carry out in case of squatting, as well as the way in how to kick a squatter out of my house They vary depending on the type of housing.
When it comes to the habitual residence, they are carried out by criminal means. In the case of second residences, it is usually by civil means.
My usual house has been squatted
The first action you must take is to call the Police and file an immediate complaint so that the house can be evicted. It is essential that this be done between 24 and 48 hours after the event. And it is that, today, it is the only way for the eviction to be done as quickly as possible.
If this situation has occurred in your home, we would be facing a home invasion, a criminal act included in the Spanish Penal Code. Thus, the authorities could access your home without a court order and the sentence for squatters can be prison sentences.
As it is possible that they can squat your house if you go on vacation, the collaboration of the neighbors and the fact of having witnesses who can testify in your favor will earn you points.
They have squatted my second residence
It is usually the most common option since they are usually more unprotected. In these cases, all precaution is little and having alarms for squats should be a priority.
The main problem in second homes is that you may not be in constant contact with it, so it is more difficult to know when it has been squatted.
Whenever possible, you should report before 48 hours. For this reason, although a house with an alarm can be squatted, you can immediately find out about this event.
The biggest inconvenience of second residences is that it is solved by civil means and it will be necessary to go to court to recover the home; something that can take a long time.
What options do I have to get my house back?
There are different alternatives when it comes to get your home back:
You can report the event and the court will determine through a trial the crimes (if it is a squat without violence, with violence…).
It is usually a quick procedure compared to the rest, since bringing the relevant evidence to the day of the trial is enough.
Depending on the characteristics of the squatting, we can face different scenarios:
claim action. The objective is to protect the property right that has been altered and disturbed by the criminal (squatter).Eviction for precarious. It happens when someone was living in your home with your permission, but you have decided that they no longer (does not pay rent, for example). In these cases the process is more complex and takes time. Summary guardianship of possession. She is the most agile. The squatters have 5 days to prove a legal squat and, if not, an eviction order will be made.
My house has been squatted: what should I not do?
One of the frequent questions is if I can enter my squatted house and carry out justice on my own. The answer in these cases is ‘NO’. This doubt enters -above all- when the squatters eventually leave the property.
Although it may seem like a solution, the truth is that it can cause problems for you, since the complaint could turn against you.
For example, if you decide changing the lock is considered a crime of coercion, included in article 172 of the Penal Code and that, in addition, entails sanctions. In these cases, the best solution will always be prevention, but, in the event that there is an unauthorized occupation in your home, the best thing to do will always be to act as provided by law.