UK pressure group set up for victims of Spanish property fraud

UK residents who have fallen victim to Spanish property fraud have a new source of help due to the creation of a campaign group in the UK.

Similar groups already exist in Spain but this is the first group to be set-up in the UK. The aim of the group is to put pressure on the UK Government and MEPs to take action.

Thousands of Britons are thought to have bought property in Spain and due to unscrupulous dealings, banks, lawyers and the actions of various levels of Spanish government, now find themselves unable to enjoy their properties.

Chris and Angela Beattie set-up The Protection of Property Purchased in Europe (POPPIE). The husband and wife team have first hand experience of the issues that surround buying a Spanish property.

In 2004 they spent €150,000 on an off-plan villa in Andalucia that was supposed to back onto a golf course, hotel and villa complex. After more than 2 years delay in the construction the house was finally built, although the surrounding complex was not.

The developer had not received planning permission to build the properties and as such they remain unconnected to mains water and electricity supply making it impossible to sell the property.

“It is like camping in a house. We can’t sell it and don’t want to spend any more money on it because we don’t know what is going to happen to it.” said Mr Beattie adding “We bought in good faith and paid a lawyer to cary out all the necessary checks yet, like many UK citizens, have been caught up in the minefield of red tape, bureaucracy and arbitrary decisions that plague the Spanish property market.”

The Spanish government is about to begin phase 2 of its European property roadshow and hopes to promote Spain’s 700,000 unsold holiday homes to potential UK buyers.

On Hearing that the Spanish property roadshow is about to return to the UK, MEP Roger Helmer said: “I have approached Europe Minister David Lidington asking him to use his good offices to get this show cancelled, and to make it clear to the Spanish government that they will not be allowed to promote Spanish property in the UK until they can give firm guarantees that property rights will be respected and contracts will be enforceable.”

If you would like to join POPPIE, please email poppie.uk@gmail.com for more information.

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