On 17 April 2023, Spain’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a family with a minor in their care who illegally occupied a public housing unit, and whose eviction was temporarily suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The family consisted of a man with a permanent disability pension of €1,179 per month, his pregnant partner, and a one-year-old child diagnosed with hemophilia. A court in Huelva had authorized the entry of the Andalusian Housing and Rehabilitation Agency into the publicly promoted housing unit occupied by the appellants.
The appellant argued that the lower court had not taken into account the situation of minors affected by the eviction and had failed to adopt measures for their protection. However, the Supreme Court found that it had indeed taken into account the interests of all parties, including those of the minors, and had suspended the eviction order to avoid leaving vulnerable people without housing. The lower court had considered the relevant facts, including the illegality of the occupation and the financial situation of the occupants, and had concluded that the eviction order was proportionate. The lower court also took into account the exceptional circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic and suspended the eviction to give the occupants time to find alternative housing. The court dismissed the appellant’s argument that the court had failed to take into account the interests of minors and noted that it was not the responsibility of the authorities to provide housing to those who had illegally occupied a property. In conclusion, the court believed that the family had “taken justice into their own hands” with contempt for people in similar or worse situations.
Reference: STS 1618/2023 / ECLI:ES:TS:2023:1618.