Spanish Cemetery Says “Move Out!”

Spanish Cemetery Says “Move Out!”

If you ever move to Spain, don’t forget to pay your cemetery bills.

Apparently, one cemetery in Spain is running low on space and it has started sticking notices on many – when we say many, we mean thousands – of burial sites that have expired leases. These stickers act as a warning for caretakers and relatives to cough up some cash or move out.

The hoopla is happening at the Torrero Municipal Graveyard, which has already removed human remains from over 400 crypts over the past few months. If you’re wondering, they placed the remains into a common burial ground. Still confused?

Well, many cemeteries in Spain, and other places in Europe, no longer allow people to buy graves – they rent them for a period of time ranging from five to 50 years. The graves that have been moved out are those that have had leases that haven’t been renewed in 15 or more years.  According to city and cemetery records, there are 7,000 burial sites that have lapsed leases out of about 114,000.

So, why would a grave’s lease expire? Some families just don’t want the added expense while other relatives simply died themselves. Graveyards in Spain are a business and they do not have limitless space.

The entire process of grave eviction takes about six months – the graveyard management crew needs to try and find caretakers and relatives to renew the gravesite before they can actually move any remains out of the plot.

Lance Grooms