“It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” - Epictetus
Understanding the issue of squatters on Mallorca is not enough. Once they are in your home, you need to take action. Ironically, however, it is more important to know what it is you CAN´T do to remove them because if you go wrong, to add insult to injury, you will be prosecuted.
Squatting has increased 58% in the last five years with at least 100,000 homes being occupied by strangers. The numbers are likely higher as many people become irrational with anger and react using coercion. This is risky and illegal.
Cutting Off Utilities #
To be honest, this would be most people's first reaction. Nevertheless, cutting off your own utilities with squatters living in your house is a crime per the penal code.
Changing the Locks #
Yet another seemingly effective method, actually changing the locks to your own home is considered coercion and the squatters can call the police on YOU. Crazy, but true. Even locksmiths are worried for their own safety in these situations and may not respond to a job where there are known squatters anyway.
Give Them a Piece of Your Mind #
Conjure up all the calm patience humanly possible. Be careful of muttering threats to squatters. You can actually be detained depending on the gravity of the threats. The risk to you can be a fine or even prison (if you threaten death) or if they are injured in any way. Imagine being a victim of squatting and then the squatter even fakes an injury. You are already in a volatile situation, don't make it worse for yourself.
NOT Calling the Police #
Timing a call to the police is key. The first 48 hours are crucial in order to call the police to take advantage of the quickest route to extraction. This way, you can avoid getting the courts involved through a judicial court order. You do NOT need a court order if police are called within 48 hours, and the intrusion will be considered “breaking and entering” (“allanamiento de morada”). Tell the police your home is being robbed.
Moving Yourself Back In #
Once 48 hours have transpired, you cannot simply go back into your home, taking advantage of the squatters temporary absence. At this point YOU will be guilty of “breaking and entering” (“allanamiento de morada”) and the squatter can report you to the authorities. Yet another inconceivable legal loophole, but there you have it. Suddenly, the tables are turned and all the vengeful consequences you rightly wished upon the squatters come back to you!
No matter how challenging a situation you face, our recommendation is to stay calm, react as quickly as possible and strictly adhere to the law. To have a good lawyer can be helpful to navigate the process of evicting the okupas and might save you some nerves.
- OK Diario https://okdiario.com/curiosida... #Majorca #Squatters #Okupas
By Holly Veneman
25 February, 2021