The Pizza Ticket Trick: Here’s How Squatters Attack Homes in Madrid

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It’s not new, but it’s become fashionable among lovers of someone else’s house. It’s one of the many tricks squatters use to get into a house and at least not be able to evict them immediately. The ingenuity of the mafias, as we already know, is infinite.

The trick is simple: the gang of squatters selects a house to take over. They then order a pizza with the corresponding address and wait for the delivery man at the gate. They collect the order and, above all, the ticket. Two days later, they raid the property and if the police show up, they show the pizza receipt to try to prove they’ve been in the house for at least two days. Enough so that it is impossible to deport them for the moment and that the matter goes through the hands of the courts.

Once in court, the mafias can at least demand money to return them to their distraught owners, who may opt to do so rather than face the always unpredictable course of the courts.

The other The solution is to pay the mafias to abandon the house and, according to sources in the real estate sector, the assess squatters is around 3,000 euros on average, but it is not surprising that it reaches 5,000.

The pizza trick originated in Barcelona, ​​but lately it has spread to Madrid, Barcelona and large areas of Levante.

According to the property portal Idealista, large landlords in Spain are the main victims of this tactic. Montserrat Junyentresponsible for the legal advice of the General Council of Associations of Estate Agents, “in Catalonia, the pizza technique already came to them in 2018, when the express eviction law came out. It is a known mechanism, but it it is possible that it is now spreading to other parts of Spain”.

The success of this practice, explains Junyent, is due to the fact that “through the ticket, the squatters try to prove that they live in this house. And then it’s not an immediate evictionbecause the police do not have sufficient authority to act if they do not see it clearly”.

To evict squatters at this time, it has to be a flagrant crime witnessed virtually live by the Police. But once inside the house, they can do nothing and even less if they present a receipt like that of the pizza issued the day before at the same address. In this case, there is no other way than the courts.

The agents also risk it if they are denounced by the squatters. They risk penalties that can ruin their careers.

According to the latest data from the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), Referring to 2021, the final judicial decisions to evict squatters took an average of 18.1 months, including the “custodial verbal procedure for illegal occupation of housing” of the courts of 1st instance and instruction in civil matters (9 ,6 months) and “calls”. Sentences Minutes” of Provincial Courts (8.5 months). This means that the owners had to wait six and a half months to recover their house after suffering illegal occupation.

Although if there’s one tactic that’s been proliferating in recent months it’s what the National Organization of People Affected by Squatting calls “the ‘inquiokupación’, where the squatter exchanges the kick in the door for a rental contract, real or fictitious”. According to Toni Miranda, this “is at the origin of the fall in rental supply” and is “courtesy of the government of Pedro Sánchez and its policy of protecting squatters”.

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