Rickmansworth, United Kingdom (PressExposure) April 12, 2008 -- Most residents living in the Spanish village of La ViÃ±uela in the AxarquÃa, MÃ¡laga province has received a letter from the local town hall. It asks them to pay a so-called 'voluntary tax' of between â¬6,000 and â¬12,000 in order to legalise their unlawfully constructed home.
Around 50 of the inhabitants affected are British, some of who have already paid this peculiar tax. However, Homesoverseas.co.uk has been informed that the town halls request for the 'voluntary tax' is in itself "illegal" and so those who have not already paid this toll should seek legal advice with regards to the situation.
Spanish legal expert Jordi Sanchez-Tort of the International Property Law Centre told Homesoverseas.co.uk that such letters "would be contradictory and void under Spanish Law." This is because the adjective "voluntary" does not appear within the definition of Spanish tax.
Sanchez-Tort added: "In this case, residents have been affected by a request from the town hall, asking for a voluntary tax to legalise their homes, thus suggesting that their homes are currently illegal. This is contradictory; if a construction were illegal this would be due to the developers non-compliance with the town planning regulations, not because of non-payment for a specific license or permit. Therefore payment of such a voluntary tax logically would not lead to an illegal property becoming legal.
"The procedures to legalise illegal constructions are regulated under Spanish Law, and does not include payment of a "voluntary tax".