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Hope for Yorkshire expats caught in Spanish property problems

December 1, 2011 11:30 AM

Spanish propertyDiana today launched a publication looking at solutions for British expats facing difficulties with properties bought abroad.

Her publication 'European Property Rights and Wrongs' sets out some practical steps to ensure the legal security of cross-border property sales. It features the input of European land law experts, practitioners as well as some of the groups who have been taking their battle to the Parliament's Petitions Committee for the past few years.

Diana said;

"Over the past decade I have heard countless stories of expats from our region moving abroad and encountering problems with lost deposits, unfinished developments or properties facing demolition due to reclassification of land.

"Just recently I have been dealing with a man fromPickeringwhere the land on which he has his house has been re-classified arbitrarily by the Spanish Government so now the property is technically illegal. There is even a chance it could be demolished.

"We have fought on behalf of the victims here in the European Parliament; however, I decided to launch this publication as a response to the stalemate we have recently found ourselves in.

"Property rights issues in countries such asSpainandCyprusare by far the most pressing in the Parliament's Petitions Committee on which I sit. Tens of thousands of properties face demolition, eviction or bankruptcy, the EU has been unable, or refused, to act.

"The EU offers consumer protection for someone purchasing books, a piece of furniture or a hairdryer from a different country, and yet it has been reluctant to act to protect consumers when they make the most important purchase of their life."

The publication looks at the long-term debate on European property rights, and some practical steps for the near future. These steps include the developing Cross-Border Electronic Conveyancing project, improving e-justice services, and the development of pan-European legal services.

Ms. Wallis will be presenting the publication to the European Commission, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and it will be available online to anyone interested or caught up in such problems themselves.

Full text of 'European Property Rights and Wrongs' can be downloaded at

http://dianawallismep.org.uk/en/document/european-property-rights-and-wrongs.pdf