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Expats 'duped' by unscrupulous developers

Thu 7th Jan 2010

The recent news that two expats living in Spain have been served with eviction notices is not just a warning for those living in foreign countries to do their homework before buying property, one commentator has claimed.

Writing for the Telegraph, expat blogger Anna Nicholas writes that in John and Muriel Burns' case, they had followed correct procedure, but had simply been duped by a local property system where horse-trading and corruption had become institutionalised.

"As has now been discovered in Almeria, Valencia, Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca, the majority of these British expats were duped into believing they had legitimate building licences when they clearly did not," she wrote.

She added that the problem has not only affected expats but also local residents caught up in the country's property boom. In Chiclana, Andalucia, for example, 15,000 illegal homes have been built in the last 20 years, she claimed.

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