As a result of the real estate crisis just some years ago and the economic difficulties that part of the Spanish population is going through due to the Covid-19, illegal property occupation has become one of the main concerns of Spanish property owners.
Squatters, better known as Okupas in Spain, represent a threat to any owner of real estate, whether it is their usual residence or a second home.
According to data provided by the Interior Ministry there has been an exceptional increase in squatting, especially in large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona.
In this BMI Spain blog post we tell you how to protect your home from okupas in Spain to avoid a big problem.
How to protect your home from okupas in Spain?
To prevent them from occupying your home here are some tips to protect your home from okupas in Spain:
Regular visits to the property
In the case of a second residence, it is more likely to be occupied, therefore, one of the ways to avoid okupas in Spain is to “deceive” them and make them believe that the house is inhabited.
If distance allows it or if you, for instance, have a trusting relationship with a neighbour, it is ideal to visit the house regularly to make them believe that there are usually people there.
Actions such as picking up letters from the mailbox, turning the lights on and off or raising and lowering the blinds can throw potential squatters off the scent.
In addition, another detail to consider is that we should avoid giving details about our movements and plans and try not to post on social networks where you are, as this way okupas in Spain can take advantage of this information.
Another possible solution is to rent out your home during the time you are not living in it to avoid the entry of okupas in Spain.
Security doors to avoid okupas in Spain
Another one of the measures that must be carried out to avoid the occupation of our houses when we are not in them is to install a security door that prevents the entrance of third parties to the house.
You can find on the market doors made of high-quality materials and designed with mechanisms that prevent the door from being opened with a simple blow or a hole that can be drilled.
Normally these doors have a steel plate inside of different thickness, which is what makes the resistance much higher compared to other types of doors.
Special locks to prevent the entrance of occupants
This point is closely related to the previous section. It is another of the ways to make more effective measures to prevent the entry of occupants squatters in a house by installing a security lock to prevent squatters from entering the house.
Okupas in Spain, when entering a house, usually force the lock and then change the cylinder. Therefore, it is advisable to change the lock you have to another much more secure one and that includes a system that locks when there is a break-in.
In the market you can find an infinite number of different locks whose price can be a little higher, but in this way, you can make breaking in a little more difficult.
Do not forget to protect the windows
If the house is located at street level another of the measures to avoid squatters is to reinforce the windows, since otherwise you could be facilitating their access.
You can install bars that, despite being an unaesthetic measure, can dissuade the entrance of criminals. There are also locks or internal security locks that can make it difficult to open the window.
Burglar alarm system and security cameras
The safest way without a doubt, to prevent okupas in Spain and to dissuade them from entering our homes is to install a burglar alarm system in the house leaving our property protected 24 hours a day.
Nowadays there are modern systems that make the alarm go off as soon as it detects a minimum attempt of intrusion and, in addition, notify the police or a security company who will show up in the house rapidly.
It is also advisable that the system has built-in video cameras to be able to record the events and prove if necessary that there has been a break-in.
Another advantage of this type of system is that you can have direct access from your mobile phone, so you can check the status of your home whenever you want.
Take out a good home insurance policy
This measure does not try to avoid squatters in the house, but it is a solution for those cases in which they have managed to enter the house.
With a good home insurance that covers some contingencies such as legal costs arising to recover the house, the costs incurred by possible damage to the house or common areas if the house is in a block, or if they have committed a theft and have taken objects and goods, the possibility of recovering the corresponding value.
When taking out a home insurance policy, it is important that it includes the risks that may arise from an occupation of the home, such as those described above.
Home insurance that adapts to you
As you may have seen, okupas in Spain is a current issue and it is important to take the appropriate measures to avoid intruders in our home, as well as to take out a good home insurance policy to cover possible damages.
For more information, you can contact us for any of our means, we will be happy to attend you.