A couple in Spain has been left devastated after they bought a property but the owner has refused to move out. The couple from Tenerife has been fighting for more than three years in court against the previous owner of the house.
José Miguel and Rosario had been looking for a house for some time when they found the perfect place in La Laguna (Tenerife).
The house had everything they had in mind – good location, a reasonable price and an owner who, in principle, seemed willing to sell. The initial transaction went smoothly and on 24 December 2019 they signed the sale and purchase contract and soon the nightmare began.
The seller, a woman of Belgian origin, asked to be allowed to spend at least that night there, to which they agreed without any problems.
However, the answer they received froze their blood: “Now I’ll stay as a squatter for 10 years.”
Rosario said: “She started to make up excuses in order to stay, each time the excuses kept changing, always excuses until we saw that it was impossible to reach any kind of solution with her.”
The couple have filed several complaints and have even gone to the Supreme Court. They have won all the proceedings, and the eviction date was even set for March of this year.
Rosario added: “We had an eviction date that was postponed because of the court clerks’ strike and we are waiting for a new date.”
He explained that in the meantime they have to continue paying: “We are paying the mortgage, the rent, the electricity bills. We pay absolutely everything except the water.
“The squatting woman also uses the social shield.”
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It has been three-and-a-half years since then and they are still fighting a legal battle against the woman.
The buyer couple has taken over the mortgage debt, but they still cannot enter their house.
Despite agreeing to pay the mortgage on the house and even handing over a cheque for 50,000 euros, the woman has refused to leave.
She argues that, as she is taking care of Moroccan children, she cannot leave the house because she considers that they would be left unprotected.
Meanwhile, the couple has spent almost 150,000 euros between the debt with the bank and the different expenses involved.
The couple told Antena 3: “We bought the house because at the time we saw it as an excellent investment, for us it was like a peaceful retreat by the sea.
“The house needed a lot of repairs, it was full of things and very dirty, but it seemed like a good price and that’s why we decided to go for it.”
The couple also blamed the slow work on the justice system.
José Miguel said: “She always claims to have a child in foster care and it is very difficult to evict her. Justice has given us the reason.
“I have lodged complaints with the juvenile prosecutor’s office, the La Laguna Town Hall, and the social services. Nobody is doing anything. The slowness… It can’t take three and a half years for them to give us what is ours.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.
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