Illegal occupation of property in Spain: Legal problems and the homeowner’s dilemma

Uncovering the problems associated with the seizure of property in Spain: Understanding the phenomenon of okupas

The Spanish property market is seeing an increase in property occupancy, which is causing growing concern among homeowners. Okupas, commonly known as “okupas” in Spain, involve the unauthorized occupation of real estate, either by illegal migrants or tenants who have stopped paying rent. In this article, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of repaying debt, looking at the various scenarios homeowners face, legal restrictions, and the complex eviction process.

Two aspects of debt recovery:

Debt recovery in Spain can be divided into two different groups. The first group includes people who take over property during the absence of the owner, usually during a vacation or even a short trip to the local store. These illegal acts are carried out mainly by illegal migrants, including Africans such as Morocco and Senegal, as well as some gypsy communities and even Spaniards, who manipulate legal inconsistencies to their advantage.

The second group, gaining momentum in Spain, consists of tenants who legally rent property, but subsequently cease to fulfill their financial obligations. These tenants, sometimes facing financial hardship or unemployment, present another challenge for property owners. Dealing with this group can be no less challenging as the legal system places a number of obstacles on the eviction process.

Legal incidents and the dilemma of the owner:

When faced with a debt repayment problem, homeowners often wonder why they can’t just forcefully evict tenants. However, the Spanish legal system is structured in such a way that priority is given to due process and the protection of the rights of both parties. Even the police cannot intervene without a court order, and property owners are discouraged from taking matters into their own hands.

Eviction Struggle:

Eviction of tenants involved in debt collection can be an uphill battle for homeowners. Litigation usually lasts a year or more, resulting in significant legal costs, which can reach 1,000 euros or more. The process involves multiple notices and eviction notices, further delaying the issue.

Witnesses and outsiders, a complex equation:

The location of the occupied property plays an important role in the eviction process. Homeowners who live in secluded areas and have no witnesses may find it difficult to rely on law enforcement. Conversely, when the property being occupied is part of an apartment building where other tenants live, tenants can take advantage of the presence of witnesses to further complicate the eviction process.

Utility bills and disappointments:

One of the problems that property owners face when paying back their debt is the obligation to continue paying utility bills such as electricity, water and other expenses while the tenants enjoy the benefits. This predicament becomes especially severe when the property is part of a shared building with a central utility system and individual meters, leaving the landlord responsible for paying.


The surge in property occupancy in Spain, whether it’s illegal entry or non-payment of rent by tenants, poses serious problems for homeowners seeking justice and the return of their property. Understanding the complexities of the legal system, eviction procedures, and the role of witnesses is critical for those embarking on the difficult path of resolving a debt recovery problem. As Spain continues to address this issue, homeowners should navigate the legal process and seek professional advice to regain control of their property.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. For specific legal advice, consult a qualified lawyer.