Value and benefits of AUAN membership
AUAN is a non-profit organisations of homeowners working solely in the interest of it's members in relation to current and future situations. We engage the services of qualified independent legal and planning advisors to ensure that the advisory services we deliver are accurate and up to date.
Direct value for our members
Most members had receive a Direct Value for their membership from receiving information and advice specific to their situation or on the planning changes made within their town. All members received Indirect Value from other support activities which included:
- Information relating to Legal & Planning issues that has or will affect them in the future.
- General information and advice pertaining to all forms of property documentation.
- Details regarding Property Tax including Catastral Registration.
- Assistance with obtaining or understanding ownership of their house & land
- Correct information so that they understood their situation and could therefore make informed decisions about what they needed to do.
- Protection of their interests so that they did not incur further monetary losses unnecessarily.
The cost of membership is often referred to as a ‘cup of coffee a week’ but members accepted that it was not the cost that mattered but what savings they made against having to pay an independent lawyer / planner or advisor to obtain the same information that the association had provided. That is the real value of the association.
An overview of some of the support activities given to members during 2012:
- We published a detailed analysis of Decree 2/2012,regulating the regimen of buildings on non urbanizable land, and its effects on members homes. An issue that has a material impact on thousands of homes in the Valley, however, quoting from a press article during this year “only AUAN members knew what it is about”. We are aware that a number of people are now spending what equates to over 20 years membership fees possibly going in the wrong direction or losing their money in an effort to legalise their property. Some may even open themselves up to legal proceedings!
- As a result of this Decree some towns have released their Avance Plans. An Avance Plan contains the town halls proposals for dealing with buildings located on non urbanizable land within their municipality. These include ALBOX / PARTALOA / ALBANCHEZ / ARBOLEAS & CANTORIA - we have provided detailed information on their proposals and the consequences to members. The detail of this information was not confined to general statements but included a breakdown of all areas and villages located within their towns, including proposed land classifications. Members can now understand more clearly what their land classification is or might be under these proposals unlike non-members who might be unaware that many homes may not become fully legalised but ‘tolerated’ under the new proposals. Many might even end up paying professional advisors several hundreds of Euros to get an understanding of what we provided within the membership fee.
- For Albox we submitted an objection to their Advance requesting the inclusion of more properties within the Town Plan and objected to the contents of the Inspection Report which accompanied this Avance because we felt it to be poorly prepared and inaccurate with regards to its claims that specific homes were on protected land or within Urban Parcelaciones or illegal sub-divisions of a parcela of land.
- The issue of Urban Parcelaciones and homes on protected land are not confined just to Albox but will impact many other home owners in other towns. Members have been made aware of the problems facing those whose properties have not been properly segregated or are on protected land so that they can take the appropriate actions and not lose further money in what might be a failed application to their town halls. The Association is seeking clarification and legal understanding of the impact that urban parcelaciones might have on legalising a property. Many homeowners might find, at their cost and too late, that an urban parcelacion has to be addressed to conform to the requirements of the Decree.
- We are constantly seeking to obtain information about legal proceedings with respect to member’s homes so that they can be fully informed about the legal position of their property. We provide solidarity, support, information and advice to those whose properties are involved in court proceedings.
- A number of members do not have title to their land and we have given extensive advice on this including what actions they might take or what risks are involved.
- We have assisted members in checking the ownership of property via a Nota Simple to ensure either their right of title or where ownership is with another party, no encumbrances are attached. We have supplied details on how to obtain this document. In more difficult cases where ownership is not clearly defined we have directly assisted members in co-operation with the Land Registry.
- We held Advisory and Legal Clinics throughout the year. The Advisory Clinics aided members to understand more clearly their personal position or the actions they needed to take. Where appropriate a Legal Clinic was offered where professional advice could be given by the Associations legal and planning experts. These clinics are free of charge to members.
- All information to members, including planning documents, has been translated from Spanish to English. Many would struggle to understand the documentation released by our town halls and certainly all of us would be confused with some of the terminology or have a clear understanding of the real meaning of such releases. Anyone who has used the services of a translator will know what that facility costs! Our internal knowledge and combined force brings this service at costs no non-member could ever obtain.
Our collective voice for change
It should not be forgotten that without AUAN and associations like it there would be no Decree to regularise houses in Andalucia. AUAN invented the legal concept of ‘assimilation’ and proposed it to the Junta many years ago. The solution they delivered is overly complex and flawed but IT DELIVERS A SOLUTION FOR SOME.
Neither should it be forgotten that without AUAN and associations like it there would be no transitory provision in the LOUA which allows temporary connection to services such as water and electricity whilst the regularisation process is executed. We proposed this to the Junta, and it was discussed in the Andalucian Parliament. Again, the solution they delivered is overly complex and flawed BUT IT HAS HELPED SOME.
- We continue to liaise with other Associations in Spain who are also campaigning for homes to be legalised.
- We maintain the visibility of the injustices to homeowners and voice our demands through a continued press and publicity campaign so that those in authority will hopefully make further changes to the laws.
- As an Association we have presented our issues to the European Commission via the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament and whilst we are disappointed with the response of the European Commission to date we continue to press your case.
- As an Association we have presented our issues to the Andalucian Government and to opposition parties.
- We continue to liaise with the British Government and are a recommended source of self help for those with property problems in Spain. See UK Embassy in Spain
All at the cost of one cup of coffee per week
An analysis of our spending for 2012 shows that the average cost to members for all the support activities including consultations, translations, legal & planning information in order to understand one’s position and take appropriate actions, has cost each member €47, basically the cost of the membership fee!