Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I am getting a flat in Sitges Catalunya and for now it will be empty for some months of the year for now. I hear a lot about squatters but I have also had a family flat in this same town for years with it being empty for months at a time and no issues. I am considering getting a camera or alarm for the new place because I don't know the building or the neighbors but don't want to spend lots of money on a system and would rather something low fi. does anyone have recommendations or insights on this matter?
PS I have also had locals tell me that okupas usually happen on foreclosed places and homes much more than pisos.
thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
899 Posts
Hello! I am getting a flat in Sitges Catalunya and for now it will be empty for some months of the year for now. I hear a lot about squatters but I have also had a family flat in this same town for years with it being empty for months at a time and no issues. I am considering getting a camera or alarm for the new place because I don't know the building or the neighbors but don't want to spend lots of money on a system and would rather something low fi. does anyone have recommendations or insights on this matter?
PS I have also had locals tell me that okupas usually happen on foreclosed places and homes much more than pisos.
thank you!
Expensive but state-of-the-art security system: Alarmas Securitas Direct | Securitas Direct
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,015 Posts
Hello! I am getting a flat in Sitges Catalunya and for now it will be empty for some months of the year for now. I hear a lot about squatters but I have also had a family flat in this same town for years with it being empty for months at a time and no issues. I am considering getting a camera or alarm for the new place because I don't know the building or the neighbors but don't want to spend lots of money on a system and would rather something low fi. does anyone have recommendations or insights on this matter?
PS I have also had locals tell me that okupas usually happen on foreclosed places and homes much more than pisos.
thank you!
They rarely happen in blocks where there are all year residents and it is in a busy area. Mainly it is buildings which are badly kept and in quiet seasonal areas plus , as you say , it is usually in separate places as flats means neighbours and neighbours will contact police and can get community to change central locks plus it's harder for them to connect up electricity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They rarely happen in blocks where there are all year residents and it is in a busy area. Mainly it is buildings which are badly kept and in quiet seasonal areas plus , as you say , it is usually in separate places as flats means neighbours and neighbours will contact police and can get community to change central locks plus it's harder for them to connect up electricity.
thanks very much Kaipa...people around here talk as if it happens all the time but in actuality it does not. yet it is hard to get a handle on how often.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
We've set our house up with a couple of Amazon Echo Show devices connected to our router. These mean that we can open and close our electric shutters wherever we are, and also see what's happening indoors, all from our phones. A cheap and simple solution, especially if you buy on a Prime day.
The shutter movement makes it looks like we're in and the camera principally tells us if the cat is around, (she has her own flap so comes and goes at will).
I believe I read somewhere that there are around 13,000 cases of "occupadas" a year in Spain, mainly down to tenants ceasing to pay their rent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We've set our house up with a couple of Amazon Echo Show devices connected to our router. These mean that we can open and close our electric shutters wherever we are, and also see what's happening indoors, all from our phones. A cheap and simple solution, especially if you buy on a Prime day.
The shutter movement makes it looks like we're in and the camera principally tells us if the cat is around, (she has her own flap so comes and goes at will).
I believe I read somewhere that there are around 13,000 cases of "occupadas" a year in Spain, mainly down to tenants ceasing to pay their rent.
good idea! thanks so much
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
good idea! thanks so much
You can pick up a TAPO C200 camera for 40€ online. Connect it to your wifi and have 24/7 visibility if you want and it will alert you on your phone if theres any movement in its path. If you have neighbours or friends in the community then this is a cheap solution and peace of mind if nothing else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,313 Posts
Its odd that people are more worried about squatters than being burgled and yet there were 30,000 burglaries in only the first 3 momths of 2022.

I'm not saying that squatting isn't a thing, but it has been jumped on and used a political issue, then used as selling point (playing on people's fears) for security systems to the point that people think it is (more) common.

I know quite a few people with holiday, or second homes in Spain, most of them have been burgled at least once, if not twice, some more. But I only know one who had sqautters, and that was before I even knew them, over 30 years ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
I think that people are scared of being denied the use of their dwelling by squatters, but think that burglars will be in and out causing but a little inconvenience.
I would advise anyone not to underestimate the effects of a burglary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,109 Posts
There are some stats here on okupas by region. In the whole country in 2019 there were less than 15,000. This includes a large number of of "illegal" occupations by people who have been evicted for not paying their rent or mortgage but have nowhere else to go. It really isn't a big problem for holiday home owners, unless they are extremely unlucky. I've never come across one.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There are some stats here on okupas by region. In the whole country in 2019 there were less than 15,000. This includes a large number of of "illegal" occupations by people who have been evicted for not paying their rent or mortgage but have nowhere else to go. It really isn't a big problem for holiday home owners, unless they are extremely unlucky. I've never come across one.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So being that many here agree the squatter thing is overblown but the perhaps burglary is not, if I have to leave my flat unoccupied for a few months at a time, do you recommend an alarm? I don't plan to leave any valuables.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
You can pick up a TAPO C200 camera for 40€ online. Connect it to your wifi and have 24/7 visibility if you want and it will alert you on your phone if theres any movement in its path. If you have neighbours or friends in the community then this is a cheap solution and peace of mind if nothing else.
We have these (Tapo C200) combined with Tapo smart plugs to switch on lights etc. Both will work with Alexa, which we've also set up with a barking dog alarm.
Available on Amazon.es (https://www.amazon.es/dp/B07XLML2YS/) and (https://www.amazon.es/TP-Link-Tapo-P100-Inteligente-Concentrador/dp/B07Z5JD3T4/)

You can't beat good neighbours though. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
802 Posts
You can't beat good neighbours though. :)
Yep. we are in a stairwell of six flats, the one opposite us is owned by a couple who only visit twice a year, I keep an eye out and check the mailbox.
Next set of stairs from us the bottom flat is empty now, the owners did 90 days so wont be back this year. I walk round ever couple of days.

We know both sets of owners and offered just to keep a look out.
The village has old properties and a couple of newish blocks and we all seem to get along, I can't count the number of times I have to say Hola everyday.

Its not easy to get into our block, electronic entry via buzzer or key, key to get in underground car park. Yet the new German owners of the flat below us have fitted a wonderful alarm connected to a security firm.
Its gone off three times in the last month (once might have been my fault as I dropped something heavy on the floor). They arrived the other day and asked me why it keeps going off as they pay for someone to come out and check..

My answer was because someone comes out to check, you pay.....

I think here in Spain its no different to any other country where people leave properties unattended.
And you run the same risk of burglary when visiting here when your home is empty, but has your main home got a security system?

Id suggest getting to know any neighbours and at the minimum giving contact details.
Oh and don't forget a small present next time you visit, after that you will be surprised how many others will be looking out for you (its what we did when first purchased the flat)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yep. we are in a stairwell of six flats, the one opposite us is owned by a couple who only visit twice a year, I keep an eye out and check the mailbox.
Next set of stairs from us the bottom flat is empty now, the owners did 90 days so wont be back this year. I walk round ever couple of days.

We know both sets of owners and offered just to keep a look out.
The village has old properties and a couple of newish blocks and we all seem to get along, I can't count the number of times I have to say Hola everyday.

Its not easy to get into our block, electronic entry via buzzer or key, key to get in underground car park. Yet the new German owners of the flat below us have fitted a wonderful alarm connected to a security firm.
Its gone off three times in the last month (once might have been my fault as I dropped something heavy on the floor). They arrived the other day and asked me why it keeps going off as they pay for someone to come out and check..

My answer was because someone comes out to check, you pay.....

I think here in Spain its no different to any other country where people leave properties unattended.
And you run the same risk of burglary when visiting here when your home is empty, but has your main home got a security system?

Id suggest getting to know any neighbours and at the minimum giving contact details.
Oh and don't forget a small present next time you visit, after that you will be surprised how many others will be looking out for you (its what we did when first purchased the flat)
yes, awesome advice! thank you so much
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,313 Posts
You need to think about what will happen if you have an alarm and you are burgled. Some people I know had a top of the range Securitas alarm in their second home in the countryside.
If the alarm was triggered the company would call them to ask if they, or anyone authorised was in the house. If the answer was no, they would send a patrol to take a look.

They never really knew where that patrol would set out from, but assuming it was from the closest town, and that there was a patrol idle and waiting a call, it would have been around 40 minutes until they got there. If anything suspicious was found by the patrol, the police would be notified.

Burglers know this, and spend a calculated maximum of time in the house, they rely on the fact that private security guards are low paid, often poorly trained and are not going to risk their wellbeing protecting a stranger's home, and that the police are too busy to attand a domestic burglary.

I'm sure they do have some effect as deterrents, and it does give the owners peace of mind and that is what you are buying.

Another couple I know simply don't have a TV in their weekend house after haviong two stolen in burglaries. That's all they took both times, the repairs to the doors and windows actually cost more that than the value of the stolen TVs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Where I was nobody had an alarm.
They were 90+% Spanish and of those mostly second home owners. The prevailing attitude was that they didn't keep anything of value there.
The full timers considered that the response times for alarm companies and Police /Guardia would allow any burglar to be in and out and clear away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,015 Posts
Before I lived in Spain permanently we had an apartment that was never used apart from a few weeks in summer. It was burgled at least twice. Nothing of value taken except tv. Problem was we always had to get shutters fixed. It was an attico so access was quite easy. Plus there were many holiday flats in building. Occupied buildings are less prone for burglary obviously. As others have said the best is to have someone check flat every now and again but be prepared to compensate them for this. Don't get an alarm. No one will come and it just keeps everyone awake at night to the point that everyone hates you and no doubt wishes you were robbed in first place
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top