Since I became an MEP my constituency office in Tamworth has received a steady flow of letters and emails. Whilst the subjects cover a wide range of issues something that has given me cause for concern of late are the increasing number of victims of second home fraud. I won’t get into specifics about any of the individual cases but I receive a large volume of correspondence from concerned constituents who are having problems with their banks or property developers. Since the bursting of the ‘property bubble’ in Europe many have lost deposits, been taken advantage of by dodgy lawyers, failed to receive title deeds or keys to their dream homes.
I am not a lawyer, I don’t offer legal advice but I can’t stress enough how important it is to seek independent legal counsel. I would recommend that those who find themselves in difficulties contact their British Embassy. They provide very helpful lists on their website of approved English speaking lawyers, such as these in Cyprus and Spain:
For some cases in Spain and Cyprus I have written to the European Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, to raise concerns regarding European banks and property developers who have short changed and used strong arm tactics with many of my West Midlands constituents.
I know that successful campaigning by my Alliance for Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) Group colleagues and pressure from the European Commission has led to the Spanish government changing their controversial Coastal Law which threatened many properties on the Spanish Costas. You can read more about this on my website:
This is not a comprehensive run down on second homes and each individual case will be different but I hope this article can serve as a helpful guide and report on what I have done and what I can do to help.
Get in touch with me if you have any queries on this or any other issue.