We've been left homeless after Spanish council sold my £280,000 home for just £24k to pay my ex’s debt, says Brit mum | The Sun

A BRIT mum and her son claim they have been left homeless after Spanish authorities sold their home to cover her ex's debt.

Victoria Jenkins has lived in the same home in Marbella on the Costa del Sol for 22 years, and her 13-year-old son Sam was born in the popular resort.

But she was stunned to discover the council in Mijas had sold her house without her knowledge, and for just a fraction of the cost.

The first Victoria knew of the sale was when she was suddenly served with an eviction notice after Spanish authorities flogged the home for 10 percent of its worth in a "secret" auction.

She and her ex-partner bought the two-bed flat in Riviera del Sol for 270,000 euros (£235k) and there was no mortgage or other debt against the property.

But local officials sold the flat for just 28,000 euros (£24k), despite it being worth an estimated 320,000 euros (£279k).


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And after paying off an alleged debt owed by Victoria's ex of just 4,000 euros (£3,500), Victoria claims Spanish officials pocketed the rest of the cash, claiming it was being used to pay legal fees.

She says she's now been left with nothing – not even the child maintenance previously awarded to her by a court.

Her situation is reportedly far from unique, with campaigners calling for local officials to be investigated.

Victoria said six men showed up to hand her the eviction notice in April 2021, including two police officers, two town hall officials, and the new owner with a friend to force her to leave.

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She said she has been forced to stay on a friend's sofa and has been fighting in the courts in Spain ever since.

The 37-year-old said she was told her apartment had been sold by the local town hall to recoup unpaid ground taxes owed by her ex-partner Lee Cohen, in whose name the property was registered.

She said no one had told her about the debt or the sale of the flat, which took place behind closed doors in 2015.

Her first eviction notice was sent in November 2020, and, after a lengthy legal battle, she discovered eviction notices and letters about the apartment's sale were being sent to the wrong address.

Victoria claims this was done deliberately by authorities as part of a scam by town hall officials to snatch properties from vulnerable residents under false pretenses and sell the homes at reduced prices.

I feel there should be a strong warning to people thinking of investing any money in the Mijas Costa area

"I have had the same address, email, and phone number the whole time I've been in Spain," she said. "All the court documents have the correct address, but the notifications were sent to one that doesn't exist.

"Because it looked like I was not responding, the judge automatically ruled in their favour without me knowing about it or being given a fair hearing or chance to put my side and legal documents forward.

"When it looked to the judge that I was not responding he granted them the eviction and they had no problem finding me and banging on my door when it was time to kick me out. I don't know how these people sleep at night."

She fumed: "We have had our home sold from underneath us and we have not been given a penny, despite there being hundreds of thousands of euros in equity in the home.

"How can this be happening – it just seems so unfair. What about my son? He's lived here his whole life, he goes to school here."

Victoria has warned Brits against investing in the Costa del Sol and says other expats have fallen into similar legal woes.

"There are all the TV shows showing people buying homes in the sun, especially in this area, but no one sees what happens to them afterwards and I feel there should be a strong warning to people thinking of investing any money in the Mijas Costa area until the people in authority are looked at," she said.

"It is an area massive with tourists and people hoping to start a new life. I have seen so many people come and have sold their homes back in the UK to invest here, only for 12 months later to leave with nothing. It is heartbreaking."

Victoria's flat had been fully paid for with no mortgage outstanding after Victoria and her then-partner 22 years ago.

But she hasn't spoken to her ex since he left her to start a new life in Indonesia in 2012.

She was given full custody of her son by a court in 2015, as well as the right to stay in their home until he turns 18, but says she's been offered no other help.

With no social housing, the only help authorities offered was to try and put Sam into care.

Victoria is now taking the case to a tribunal at the Supreme Court in Madrid to challenge the legality of the flat sale, but it may not be heard for many years.

"We were kicked onto the streets in the middle of a world pandemic and left with nothing over a Euro 4,000 debt," she said.

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"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."

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