Many investors are reluctant to invest in real estate in Spain due to the old lengthy processes and current arising of mafias who are making a real business out of the illegitimate occupation of real estate properties.

The old lengthy processes were arisen due to the 2018 law that amended the civil processes. For example owners needed to resort to police to identify and notify unknown occupiers. 

The new arising mafias tend to request funds to facilitate the quick eviction of the given property.  Some illegitimate occupiers appear surprisingly after having visited the property and decided the purchase. 

These fears should not be an impediment to invest in the real estate sector in Spain, specially considering the continued rent returns and the still existence of bank assets which increase such returns considering the low acquisition value. 

These should not be an impediment because the 2008 modification of the civil processes plug in:

–       The precautionary eviction of the occupiers;

–       The possibility to initiate actions and notify unknown occupiers;

–       The request to present title within just 5 days and in default an eviction date is fixed. 

In terms of timings and depending on circumstances and case load of the tribunal with jurisdiction over the property an eviction can occur within 1-3 months. A circumstance that may delay the eviction will verse over the existence of possession of just title over the property. This we may expect in the case of occupiers who are in possession of a rental contract but have failed to make due payment. The law allows owners to seek eviction if just a single monthly rent rests unpaid. 

It is very important in this case the existence or not of a burofax (an official legal notice requesting payment) since in the absence of legal notice/burofax the tenant could make payment of the due rent and stop the process. Whereas if a burofax is sent out and no response is given in 30 days, the payment would not stop the process.

In conclusion, knowing the parameters of the 2018 amendments can put you just a few months away from an occupied property. Knowing your rights in this sector will increase your options.