SQUATTING CONCERNS RISE FOR LANDLORDS
28 February 2011
Squatting in London has at least trebled as a result of the recession, with a total of 29 related cases heard in the High Court last year.
The credit crunch and fall in property values mean developers are leaving more and more buildings empty in expensive London streets as they wait to secure funding for construction work or for the market to pick up. Legal cases involving squatters and trespassers have also risen in private rented accommodation.
Under English law, squatting is seen as an ancient right rather than a criminal offence, unless the police can prove breaking and entering or damage. However, there are relevant procedures in place for landlords including the Interim Possession Order, a fairly quick procedure for removing squatters from your property. However, the rules are strict when it comes to serving papers and notices on the squatters, and it is easy to fall fowl of the rules.
Brighton and Hove MP Mike Weatherley recently took up the case, "There is no criminal act so [the squatters] get evicted from the home and move to another and then evicted and evicted and evicted. We ought to make it criminalised so these people can be held to account for their actions."
Going through the eviction process is a stressful situation for any landlord. Employing a good lettings agent that will ensure very limited void periods between tenancies to eradicate squatting can be one way to avoid the issue. At Edmund Cude, our directors and property managers are kept up-to-date on current legislation regarding all types of repossession and court procedures and can offer expert legal advice on how to deal with any situation regarding problem tenancies or squatting.
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