Here’s the press release I received today:
POPPIE (PROTECTION OF PROPERTY PURCHASED IN EUROPE LIMITED)
NEW ASSOCIATION FOR UK RESIDENTS OWNING, or attempting to own, PROPERTY IN SPAIN
Who should join?
Anyone with problems related to:
Off plan purchases
Land grab by developers
Coastal law problems
Revoked, or misrepresentations of the status of planning permissions
When and how can I join?
Now! We need as many members as possible to demonstrate that POPPIE speaks for the thousands with property in Spain. Please join and persuade others you know to join too! For an application form, please email:
How much does it cost to join?
In the first year membership is free. We may need to raise funds in the future and introduce membership subscriptions in the Second and subsequent years. As POPPIE’s activities expand, it may be necessary to run appeals for contributions. Full details of the purpose of any such expenditure would be given at the time of any such appeal
Who to contact?
The initial directors of POPPIE are Chris and Angela Beattie. If you would like to help in running POPPIE, please contact them at:
POPPIE has been formed to campaign for UK residents who have bought property or tried to buy property in Spain in good faith, and who, through the actions of various levels of government, property developers and banks, find themselves unable to enjoy the rights to their properties. POPPIE has been registered in England as a limited liability not-for-profit company.
Why a UK Association?
There are already several regional associations based in Spain that actively represent people of all nationalities who have problems related to Spanish properties. These associations, both individually and through an umbrella organisation called FAUN*, supply information and support to their members. Through their dedication and hard work they are lobbying the regional and national governments in Spain to face up to their responsibilities and resolve the many abuses in the Spanish property market. They have also gained some support in the European Parliament, which has expressed a strong desire to see more protection for property owners in Spain. Regrettably, despite all the efforts to date, the Spanish authorities have yet to make any beneficial changes to property laws.
UK citizens have also been caught up in the minefield of red tape, bureaucracy and arbitrary decisions that plague the Spanish property market. These people include those who have bought holiday homes as well as those who retired to Spain, or moved to start a new life in a sunnier climate. While many people remain in Spain to wait for a resolution of their individual problems, others have returned to the UK, unable to continue living in conditions that deny them clear ownership rights and access to necessities such as water, sewerage services and electricity. In Andalucia alone, nearly 12,000 homes are affected.
POPPIE has been formed to raise awareness here in the UK of Spanish property issues as they affect UK citizens. POPPIE’s objectives are to lobby UK MPs and MEPs more effectively than can be managed by the Spanish based associations. This will add further pressure for change in Spain.
The Spanish property market is currently deep in recession and the Spanish economy is weak. The Spanish government has embarked on a Europe wide campaign to promote investment in Spanish property, but they are ignoring the structural problems that have afflicted the Spanish property market in the past and still do today. They are ignoring those people who have already invested in Spanish property and have been left in limbo. Now is the time to impress upon the Spanish politicians that, without legislative change, there is no good reason why foreign investors should buy property in Spain in the future. Without a resolution to property malpractices, UK based property owners will continue to leave Spain and take their purchasing power with them.
There is support amongst MEPs and also amongst UK MPs. The Telegraph Online is now running a campaign in support of those with property related problems in Spain. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/campaigns/spanishplanningscandal/). For POPPIE to launch now is an opportune time to add pressure for change.
*Federación Española de Asociaciones en defensa de los Derechos Humanos y en contra de los Atropellos Urbanísticos y Medioambientaless