UK officials promise to bring the matter 'to the attention of Spanish authorities'
The UK Foreign Office has said the risk of British-owned properties in Spain being demolished for breaching local planning rules is a "substantial problem".
The Foreign Office said it estimated that there are at least 4,000 British-owned homes in Spain affected by some sort of property dispute.
Will Middleton, director of British consular services in southern Europe,told the BBC: "For those involved it's absolutely devastating. It's the uncertainty that is the big problem."
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said the UK could not get involved in individual disputes and urged British people affected to go through the "appropriate local courts".
He said: "We recognise this is a substantial problem and we can bring to the attention of the Spanish authorities the problems British residents are facing.
“We can’t interfere in court cases, and it’s up to the Spanish authorities to provide clarity on the legal uncertainty facing many British homeowners in Spain.
“We meet and lobby the Spanish authorities at all levels and we will continue to do so.”
He said the Foreign Office was aware of three British-owned properties that have been demolished because they were deemed illegal, one in 2008 and two this year.
The Spanish government was accused last month of pushing illegally built homes to British buyers.
Spain has approximately three million homes standing empty due to the property crash in 2007. Up to a third of these properties may have been built illegally due to corruption in the construction industry and town halls.
A British couple, John and Jan Brooks, had their dream villa bulldozed in October despite a court ruling that they were innocent victims of a corruption scandal.
The Foreign Office has produced a guide on how Britons can avoid being ripped off when buying a property in Spain.