A British expat mum and her young son have been left homeless after authorities in Spain sold off her home for much less than it was worth.
Victoria Jenkins has lived in Marbella, in Spain, for 22 years, while 13-year-old son Sam was born there.
But despite many happy years living in the popular tourist area, Victoria was served an eviction notice in November 2020 after Spanish authorities sold off her £280,000 (€320,000) property for £24,400 (€28,000) at auction.
Victoria bought the property with her ex-partner for £235,500 (€270,000) and had no mortgage or other debts against the property.
But last November she was informed that the property had been sold to cover the cost of alleged unpaid ground taxes of just €4,000 owed by Victoria’s ex partner, who officially owned the property.
And after paying the debt, officials kept the rest of the cash from the sale saying it would be used to cover the cost of legal fees.
Victoria says that she was not informed about the debt or the sale of the property until after it had gone through. She claims the notices were sent to the wrong address, meaning once the case went to court, the judge ruled in the favour of the authorities as it appeared she was not responding.
Victoria and Sam are now living on a friend’s couch while they try and save up enough cash to buy a new place.
She said: "There is no social housing here. I went to social services to see if they could help, they said if I did not have a home the only thing they could do is take my son into the care system.
"At the moment we are staying on a friend's sofa, while I try to save up the money to get a deposit for a home again.
"I feel defenceless, bullied, unable to protect my son, anxious and scared. I've never felt so harassed and helpless. I don't understand why my child's legal rights have been ignored."
Victoria is now taking the case to a tribunal at the Supreme Court in Madrid to challenge the legality of the sale, but it could be years before the case is heard and in the meantime, she is worried for her son's future.
"We were kicked onto the streets in the middle of a world pandemic and left with nothing over a €4,000 debt," she said.
"I just tried to give my son the best upbringing, but I can't spend enough time with him because of all the pressure of what's going on. It's just horrible.
"My son only gets one childhood. I don't know how we are going to manage now."Featured Image Credit: SWNS
Topics: World News