AUAN: It could be you

€610 of €20,000 goal

Raised by 18 people in 6 months
Created June 30, 2018
Who are we?
This is an appeal on behalf of AUAN, an association of homeowners from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Belgium who had the misfortune to unknowingly purchase an illegal home in Andalusia, Spain thanks to that regions poorly enforced planning system. 

Like many others we moved from our home countries to Andalusia to enjoy the excellent quality of life that this part of the world has to offer. It´s a great place to live but what has been broken needs to be fixed so that we can get on with our lives and future buyers can be confident that they too will not suffer our fate. We need YOUR help to do so.

What happened to us?
We spent our life savings on a home that was subsequently declared to be illegal either because the regional government revoked the planning permission issued by the local town hall or the development was allowed to proceed unchecked, in plain sight, with no planning permission at all.

We all used lawyers.

There are an estimated 300,000 illegal houses in Andalusia. One of them could be YOUR home.

(Demolition without prior compensation in Andalusia, 2013)

The consequences of discovering that your home is illegal are daunting. We faced the prospect of expensive and lengthy court cases, being denied access to water and electricity, being unable to obtain title to the property and last but not least the prospect of demolition without compensation.

How we fought back

Rather than living in denial or giving in to despair, we united under the banner of AUAN in 2006 to get to the truth about our situation and to campaign for solutions. It has been a hard and expensive road but not an unsuccessful one. Using around €230,000 of our own money a small group of people (600 at our peak) has, to date,been instrumental in bringing about the following changes to the laws of Andalusia and Spain:

• In 2012 we were instrumental in a change to the planning laws of Andalusia which introduced the concept of an AFO, a document which allowed isolated illegal houses to obtain a form of legal recognition, services and freedom from the threat of demolition. In 2016 we were again instrumental in expanding this legislation to incorporate a larger number of illegal properties.

• In 2015, as a result of a campaign by AUAN and likeminded associations, the Senate of Spain recognised the concept of a purchaser in good faith and introduced legislation to ensure compensation prior to demolition in both the criminal and administrative courts for those who could prove that they had acted in good faith.

In 2016, the President of AUAN, Maura Hillen, was awarded an honorary MBE for services to the British community in Spain in recognition of the work of the association on behalf of those affected by the issue of illegal houses.

By working together for the common good we have not only helped ourselves but others as well. Maybe even YOU.


We need YOUR HELP to do more
We want to continue to give a voice to those who otherwise would be crushed by the unaccountable power that is the planning administration in Andalusia.  We are seeking ways to make the property market in Andalusia a safer place for purchasers in good faith so that the trauma inflicted on the victims of its failings becomes a thing of the past. To do so we need money to fund expert legal and planning advice and to lobby government at both a regional and national level. 

We are currently campaigning to expand the concept of an AFO to houses awaiting legalisation via a town plan so that these houses can also have a form of legal recognition whilst they wait for the legalisation process, which can take a decade or more, to be completed.

In September 2018 the Parliament of Andalusia rejected this latest proposal and we must now regroup and try again. 

We want to complete this work and we want to do more but we are running out of funds and need your help to continue the work. The survival of this association is in your hands. Please do not let us down.
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€610 of €20,000 goal

Raised by 18 people in 6 months
Created June 30, 2018
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Mike Phillips
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