Support for calls to criminalise squatting

New moves could make squatting illegal in England, making around 20,000 people criminals.

Most of us are familiar with the term ‘squatter’s rights’ which in many cases means that people who have taken over a property, do not have to leave. Squatters cannot be legally evicted from premises without a court possession order. This is unless they leave voluntarily or the owner secures entry in a peaceful way.

However, new government proposals mean the police could be more involved in evicting squatters in future. The Ministry of Justice is deciding whether the law should be changed to make squatting a criminal activity rather than it being a civil matter.

Grant Schapps, minister for housing, said:

“I want to slam the door on squatting and so-called “squatters’ rights” once and for all. This anti-social and unfair practice causes misery and distress to law-abiding homeowners.”

For squatters, evictions are a part of their daily life. However, they will only leave if the eviction is carried out to the letter of the law. Squatters have become increasingly savvy and if the correct rules have not been followed, in many cases they will refuse to leave the property.

Squatters know the law inside out and for some landlords it can cost thousands to regain entry to their own property and then money to get the property back in a good state.

At Legal 4 Landlords we’re all for making squatting a criminal activity. It will mean that the police can enter properties and have greater powers to evict squatters.

We’ve all seen horror stories in the press of what the damage squatters can cause. We’re dealing with more and more eviction cases of this type, it’s become one of our most in demand landlord services. The advice is clear. If you’re faced with squatters, get the experts in at the earliest opportunity. We’ll handle everything on your behalf swiftly and to the letter of the law.