Although the UK government cannot provide support in individual cases, we are constantly exploring opportunities to raise awareness of property ownership issues with the appropriate Spanish authorities and express concern at the impact these problems are having on some of our citizens and Spain’s reputation abroad. Our Ministers, and our Ambassador to Spain, raise this issue with senior Spanish officials at national and regional levels. However, it is important to be clear that it is an internal Spanish issue and Spain is under no obligation to take action as a result.
One positive result is that two regional governments (Valencia and Andalucia) recently agreed to embed a Spanish civil servant in each of our Consulates in Alicante and Malaga. These civil servants will advise British residents on integrating into Spain. It is expected that they will be able to offer advice on issues such as registration with the Town Hall, healthcare and benefit rights, as well as purchasing property.
We advise citizens affected by property problems in Spain to seek independent legal advice and go through the Spanish courts. Lists of local English speaking lawyers are available on our consulate web pages. If dissatisfied with the result, you are then entitled to take the matter up to the European court level.
We also recommend those affected to make contact with local associations such as Abusos Urbanisticos No (AUN), or other associations listed below. If these organisations cannot help, they may know of others who can advise on your particular problem. Several organisations have recently joined together to pull their strength. AUN can provide more details.
The Spanish Ombudsman acts in the service of citizens in order to defend their rights and freedom against actions from any Administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies and authorities of the central government, the Autonomous Community Administrations and Local Administrations as well as anyone acting as agents or collaborators of any of these Administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Information, in English, can be found on the ombudsman's web site.
It is important to note that the Ombudsman may not intervene under the following situations: