New Law Punishes Squatters

Squatters will now be prosecuted under new legislation

Squatters will now be prosecuted under new legislation

Squatting in residential properties is to become a criminal offence in Britain, after the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill received Royal Assent this week.

As from September 1st 2012, squatting in a private residential property in the UK will become a criminal offence and offenders could face up to six months in prison and a maximum £5,000 fine if they illegally take up residence in a private property.

Legal 4 Landlords recommend that owners of properties currently empty should take adequate measures to protect their properties and prevent unwarranted occupation by squatters, including informing their insurers when the property becomes vacant or taking out specialist un-occupied BTL insurance.

Landlords of property likely to remain unoccupied for longer than 30 days are advised to turn off electricity and gas supplies, drain all the water systems, including any central heating and seal the letter box, to prevent the possibility of arson and an excessive build-up of mail.