Good news for UK landlords – Squatting to become a criminal offence!

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert May 9, 2012 10:34

 

 

Government plans to criminalise squatting went ahead after last minute changes to legislation were withdrawn or voted down. Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Miller had sought to introduce amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill that would have meant squatting is not illegal if a property has been empty for 12 months or more and is not subject to a current planning application.

According to homeless charity Crisis’s research on squatting, 39 per cent of single homeless people have squatted and the charity campaigned against the proposals, saying: “Squatters aleady face a range of legal sanctions and, with homelessness on the rise, we would not want to see them faced with risking being criminalised simply for trying to put a roof over their head.”

However, the Landlord Syndicate, a network of companies providing support for landlords, welcomed the news. Syndicate member Paul Shamplina who has fought for this law and is also founder of Landlord Action said: “Squatting cases have been on the rise for some time now, many by organised gangs whom have travelled thousands of miles to engage in squatting knowing they will be protected by the law. It was only when some high profile cases hit the headlines that people sat up and took notice of the growing injustice on homeowners.”

Squatters will now face up to a £5,000 fine and a six month prison sentence if they take up residence in another person’s property.

“Enforcing a law does not mean that the activity of squatting will be eradicated, it just means there are tougher measures to deal with it which should prevent landlords and homeowners having to enter into lengthy and expensive legal battles” said Paul. “That means landlords still need to avoid void periods and ensure they invest in good preventative security 

 

 

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert May 9, 2012 10:34

Membership Login

Register| Forgot Password?

BEST LANDLORD OFFERS

Recent Member Comments

  • Thomas Ward { I own and rent out a house in Greenwich London that used to be the main home of my ex partner and our daughter. The... }
  • Thomas Ward { I own and rent out a house in Greenwich London that used to be the main home of my ex partner and our daughter. The... }
  • User AvatarBridget Harrison { My tenants have broken the handle on the built in oven. They have not reported this to me but I noticed it while inspecting the... } – Aug 02, 4:56 PM
  • Carlo Gaudiano { Dear Landlord Expert. I have two tenants in a spacious 2 double bedroom garden flat. I want to allow them to sublet the 2nd double... }
  • User AvatarJohn Walters { need advice on a difficult situation please. I have a very difficult and aggressive tenant in Bolton who refuses to pay rent or move out... } – Jun 01, 10:41 AM
  • Older »

News Archive