Occupation of a dwelling that is neither consented to nor tolerated is not a title to possession of a dwelling, nor does it find any protection in the constitutional right to enjoy decent housing.
In other words, occupation occurs when some people illegally enter a home, premises and property, without any contract or title.
The occupation of housing is one of the problems that has grown the most since the beginning of the economic crisis.
Knowing what to do in this case is fundamental, which is why we give you 5 pieces of advice when faced with an occupation
1. Request for recovery
The first thing you have to do is to file a report with the police as soon as possible.
If you can prove that the squatters have been in your property for less than 48 hours, the police can evict them without a warrant, provided they manage to enter the property.
If the first 48 hours have passed and the squatters have changed the locks, a warrant is required. Therefore you must file a lawsuit to get a warrant, which can be done through two legal channels:
Civil lawsuit: Civil lawsuit for eviction
You must file a verbal claim with the appropriate District Court depending on the location of your home. You must apply for the immediate recovery of your home by providing the deeds or titles that accredit you as the owner or legitimate holder.
Criminal proceedings: crime of usurpation of property
This complaint must be directed against specific individuals, which will lead to an investigation into the identity of the squatters. Criminal proceedings have different stages and the process is lengthy and complicated.
What if it is my usual home that they are occupying? If the 48 hours have passed without a complaint, you will also have to file a civil eviction action.
In this case it is not a crime of usurpation, but rather a crime of breaking and entering, a crime that is punishable by up to 2 years in prison.
2. Identification of squatters
As a general rule, when a verbal lawsuit is filed, the person against whom it is filed must be identified.
The lawsuit in this case can be directed generically against the unknown occupants of the property, without prejudice to the notification of the lawsuit to the person who is in the property at the time of the notification.
For the purposes of identifying the recipient and other occupants, the person making the notification may be accompanied by the authority’s agents.
In other words, you must use all the tactics you have at your disposal to identify the squatters. The police will also do this, but inside the house they are not obliged to identify themselves, so you will have to wait for them to come out.
Otherwise, they will be forced to identify themselves after receiving the appropriate court order.
3. Non-appealable court order
Once the request has been accepted, the squatters will be notified and given a period of 5 days to provide a title that legitimizes their stay in the home.
In the event that the title deed is not presented, the property will be ordered to be handed over and the date on which the eviction will take place will be set.
This judicial decision cannot be appealed against and will be directly enforceable.
4. Intervention by social services
When the notification of the resolution contains a date for the launch of the occupants of a dwelling, it will be forwarded to the public services responsible for social policy. They would then have the permission of the interested parties in case they had to act for eviction.
The intervention of the social services will be made in order to give an adequate and as immediate as possible response to those cases of vulnerability which are detected in the procedures leading to the launching of housing occupants.
That is to say, the demand for the recovery of possession will be notified to the squatters who are in the dwelling at the time.
They will be asked if they want the social services to be informed so that, within seven days, they can adopt the necessary protection measures.
5. Sentence and eviction
If the judgement is upheld and the precautionary eviction has not been carried out before, the plaintiff (owner) may request its immediate execution.
In this case, he or she will not have to wait for the 20 day period that is provided for in other cases by the Law (art. 548 of the Law of Civil Procedure), that is, the eviction can begin without having to wait for the 20 day period, so that the owner can recover his or her home again within a few days.