In a recent case, Camden Council was forced to disclose a list of 530 empty council managed and private homes under the Freedom of Information Act.
The housing crisis means that landlords are even more vulnerable to squatters who move into their homes. In a high profile London case, 14 squatters moved into a £1m property, changing locks and stopping access to the owners two days after they had bought the home.
British law meant that the police could not forcibly remove them.
The owners begged to be let in and even offered cash, but the squatters refused to leave.
Cases like this are emerging all the time and the government is considering moves to make the practice illegal. At the moment, squatting is not a legal offence.
Until the law changes, it’s even more important that buy to let landlords have the right landlords insurance in place and act quickly if squatters move into their property.
As a landlord you will find evicting squatters is a contentious area. Squatters have to be handled in a different way to bad tenants. Although squatting is a criminal offence as set out in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, the offenders cannot be removed without a court order.
At Legal 4 Landlords we have all the legal knowledge to ensure the fastest possible eviction of squatters. We have hundreds of successful cases and years of practice that we can tell you about. The key is that you must not take the law into your own hands. Get an expert eviction services business to handle the situation on your behalf swiftly and to the letter of the law.