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The fear of squatters, an endemic problem

The “squatting” of homes, especially second homes, is a widespread problem in our society that has existed for many years. Still, the confinement has caused some insecurity since many owners cannot go to their second home to check that everything is in order.

An empty house and owners far from it are the two primary factors that squatters need to enter someone else’s home. In fact, according to the “Squatting Manual “, during the day is the best time to get inside because there are fewer people in their homes, and the noise would go unnoticed. It also gives guidelines to know if a house is inhabited and advises to mark the door with some discreet sign, put a sticker on the lock or put a piece of paper between the leaf and the door frame.

Anything that shows you that no one has entered the house for a few days will do.

Although this fact also occurs in primary residences to a lesser extent, many people and families have to go to security companies to install alarms.

The promptness: a key factor

Immediate action is a determining element to avoid losing the house. The alarm has a crucial role since having a security system installed and activated in a home, whether it is a second or habitual residence, protects it against intrusions. If a squatter enters, the alarm is activated, and at that moment, Police must be notified of the break-in. In the market, some companies give direct notice to the Police and record images that serve as witnesses to the offense.

On the other hand, and as indicated by the leading security companies, an alarm warning plate outside the property has a dissuasive effect. It is demonstrated that, usually, when the squatter sees a protected home, he prefers to go to the one that is not, since he knows that the Police will act against burglary or robbery with force, not against the occupation of a home. Hence the importance of promptness since the longer the squatters stay in the house, the more difficult it will be to kick them out.

The “squatting” keeps increasing

During 2020, 3,446 cases on illegal housing occupation entered the judicial bodies, 191.8% more than in 2019.

Catalonia, with 746 cases, represented 21% of the national total, being the second Autonomous Community behind Andalusia. But if we stick to the last quarter of 2020, it was precisely in Catalonia where the highest number of lawsuits was filed, 186 (20.4% of the national total).

For this reason, it is necessary to be aware of the exterior state of the house, collect the letters periodically, or ask someone to do it for us. It is also advisable that the neighborhood community get involved and attentive to strange movements since a squat house is usually the center of conflicts. In the cases of homes in which we are absent for an extended period, and we do not have anyone we trust to be aware of, we advise installing an alarm with warning the Police to act as quickly as necessary and thus avoid squatting.

At CALVET, we can advise you on how to protect your home.

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