Building an illegal home in Britain would be nigh on impossible but here in Spain things are very different. There are many illegal properties in the country, some of which have been subsequently legalised but others that have orders for demolition imposed upon them because they are built on protected land.
In many cases, the buyers were duped by unscrupulous builders and town hall officials into believing that all was well. Corrupt solicitors, working for the owners, did nothing to warn the potential buyers of the problems they faced.
Two British owned villas in southern Spain were demolished last week as the authorities carried out their demolition orders and there are more to come. The houses were built in areas where it was forbidden and even though the owners have been declared innocent, the court has ruled that they must go.
The owners are now faced with the prospect of trying to obtain compensation from people who have already declared bankruptcy. In other words they will never get a penny back for their investments.
In Andalucía there are estimated 300,000, many bought by British owners, that face the same fate. In case you were wondering, the houses on our estate are all legal and above board.