News: Spanish property laws to be tightened

Wed, 09 May 07

The Spanish property market is to become safer for investors...

The country’s Government is set to introduce a zero-tolerance law enforcement policy to deal with corruption in town planning departments after incidents of bribes, embezzlement and theft.

Another practice which has reportedly been occurring is the reclassification of land as residential or urban, changing the property on the land in respect to the law.

One instance related to this is the so-called land grab law which has troubled the Spanish property market, which says that private property owners cannot stand in the way of essential public development. It has been alleged that this regulation has led to people losing their homes at a fraction of their value.

However, the new government initiative has set up special police units to investigate any allegations of legal mismanagement in real estate and identify any instance of corrupt practices.

Assetz points out that such illegal activity in the Spanish real estate sector is "the exception and not the rule" and says that the authorities are becoming "acutely aware" of the effect that certain corrupt actions can have on the market as a whole.

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