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Spain. Ricardo Roman tried to enter his own apartment, he was arrested. It was previously occupied by a wild tenant

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Ricardo Roman was arrested after he entered his own apartment in the center of Seville, which had previously been occupied by a squatter. The police then ordered him to hand over the keys and handed them over to the man who illegally occupied the property. The 55-year-old owner fears that he will be homeless as a result. Meanwhile, the squatter is renting repossessed rooms on Airbnb.

Although Ricardo Roman became famous on Monday, when his story was covered by the local media, his problems date back to December last year. At that time, the man planned to move from his rented property to an apartment in the center of Seville, which he and his sister inherited from their father. Previously, the siblings did not live there permanently, but Roman’s sister stayed there twice a week when she came to town for medical appointments.

Currently, Roman, who will lose his unemployment benefit in August, is weighed down by the vision of homelessness. – I do not understand, I am a victim, and they treat me like a criminal – admits a desperate man in an interview with the Antena 3 TV station. As he adds, at the same time as he worries about the future, the wild tenant earns money from the apartment he occupies by renting part of it on Airbnb.

Ricardo Roman was arrested after entering his own apartment. It was taken by a wild tenant

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– I tried to open the door, but the key did not go into the lock. I thought maybe my sister had left the key on the inside, and I called a locksmith – the owner of the premises relates the events of December 1. “It turned out that there was a wild tenant in the apartment,” he adds. The man then contacted his sister and then called the police. Upon arrival, however, the officers were to tell him that “there is nothing they can do” because the tenant has the keys, and in addition he presented them with a lease contract. This contract was fabricated by the occupier, which was later confirmed by the court.

The next day, Roman noticed the squatter leaving his apartment. So the 55-year-old tried to get inside, which he also succeeded in. He did not find any belongings of the illegal tenant at the site, so he assumed that the illegal tenant had decided to leave his property for good. But later that afternoon, the tenant returned to the premises with four policemen and a forged lease.

Despite Roman’s and his sister’s explanations, who had arrived at the place in the meantime, the officers first identified and then arrested the 55-year-old. In addition, they ordered the woman to remove her car from the garage belonging to the apartment and hand over the keys to the apartment to the wild tenant. After spending the night in custody, the owner of the apartment was released. His case was taken up by a court in Seville, which found that the property was indeed owned by Roman and his sister, and that the lease agreement presented by the wild tenant was forged.

SEE ALSO: They break in, change the locks and stay. Tens of thousands of summer houses were occupied by squatters

However, the ruling did not end the problems of the siblings, who are still awaiting a court order to evict the unlawful tenant. Until a decision is made on the matter, they both spend their savings on rent. The situation is all the more serious as Roman is due to lose his unemployment benefit in August, so he may have problems paying the rent, which costs him 500 euros a month. – What should I do? Live under a bridge or take up an apartment? the injured man asks rhetorically in an interview with Antena 3.

The problem of foreclosures in Spain

The problem of foreclosure, also known as squatting, is “much more serious in Spain than anywhere else in Europe”, and the situation “is getting worse every year,” Spanish Property Insight, a real estate portal, wrote in December 2022. Citing data from the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, he pointed out that the number of cases of illegal takeover of real estate has doubled since 2016 year.

In 2018 alone, the police received 12,214 reports of squatters, but “many, perhaps most, owners who find homes occupied by squatters do not report it to the police and choose to go out of court,” Spanish Property Insight said, pointing out that legal eviction is “difficult and expensive”. According to estimates quoted by the Spanish media, by the end of 2022, from 90,000 up to 100 thousand homes in the country were occupied by squatters.

SEE ALSO: Squatters took over the house of a Russian oligarch. Court: They can stay

Antena 3, Telecinco, PAP, TVN24.pl

Main photo source: Diario de Sevilla/Facebook

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