End of the Squatters Rights

Do you agree with the new law axing squatters rights?

  • Yes, it's about time!

    Votes: 146 97.3%
  • No, squatters should have rights!

    Votes: 4 2.7%

  • Total voters
    150

RedDevil85

Distinguished Member
New law comes in to play on Saturday making it an offence for squatters to occupy an abandoned or empty property without the owner's permission.

They will face up to 6 months in jail, a £5,000 fine or both.

Squatters Face Jail After Rights Are Axed

Charities don't agree with the law change and feel there will be a big rise in homelessness.

Charities fear end of 'squatters' rights' could lead to big rise in homelessness | Society | The Guardian

I've put a poll up to see if members agree with the new law for home owners rights or should squatters rights have stayed, personally i think it's about time this new law came about.
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
Whilst I think squatters should be left alone if they occupy a building that has clearly been left abandoned, I don't believe they should have any long term rights to keep possession of that building should the owner want them moved on.
 

CooperUK

Well-known Member
Totally unfair IMO to 'occupy' a building which is not yours.

I have a property I rent out (left to me by my father). It was unoccupied for a few months while we sorted out his affairs, waited for probate etc. Would it have been OK for someone to have moved in during that time?
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
Of course not, hence the rules being changed to stop it. I just think that there are plenty of buildings around that have not been used for years, not just months, and that I don't see a problem with people squatting there as long as they are then moved on when the rightful owner comes forward and asks them to.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Not sure of the actually details of the law change. The headline on BBC News (like the title of this thread) sounded promising, but then the report was full of 'may be' and 'possibly' caveats.

Hope it's not another half baked attempt that has no teeth and is full of loopholes.

Be interesting to see AVF members are squatters ;)

Cheers,

Nigel
 

pandemic

Well-known Member
Bit surprised this law didn't exist in the first place. A fews years ago I was watching a debate on squatting, one squatter boasted he managed to obtain properties worth £4 million, by taking the 'real' owners to court claiming they abandoned the building and didn't maintain it properly.
 

jassco

Member
This is for commercial properties what about residential
I was under the impression it was the other way around?

BBC News said:
Squatting in a residential building in England and Wales becomes a criminal offence on Saturday, meaning squatters would face jail or a fine.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
About time. You cant take a car without the owners permission, but you could take their house.....It will still take time to evict squatters as notices have to be served through the court.

It'd be nice to see police evict on the spot though, go in with a heavy mob...
Well if you left your car on the roadside away from your home, for months (years?) with the doors/windows unlocked and the keys in the ignition would you really expect it to still be sitting there as many people who are desperate for a car just look at it.

;)

You'd either lose it, or be told by the authorities to do something with it.

Note: I do not think Squatters should have rights, but then again, if I was homeless and cold and looking for a place, and there was some abandoned building then I'd probably use it to stay in whilst I could. Anyone probably would.
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
I hope the law extends to "tinkers" who turn up and make a mess of someone else's land too.
 

Flimber

Distinguished Member
The rich and the lawmakers protecting themselves and their own interests. I've no particular liking for squatters.
 

captainarchive

Distinguished Member
Be interesting to see AVF members are squatters ;)

Cheers,

Nigel
One of my older brothers was a squatter when he moved to London back in the 1980's. He belonged to a group of 20 who took over buildings in Knightsbridge and Mayfair, the buildings all belonged to and were neglected by offshore companies, one of them was even an embassy building. He lived like that for a year and a half until he got a really good job with a merchant bank, having a Mayfair address probably helped him get the interview. Also he and the others paid rates to Westminster Council so they had services like bin collections.

By the way they new a lot of other groups and didn't know of any who squatted in residential homes, that was a big no-no. You don't have squatters rights if you break into a property. The buildings they squatted, the simply walked into. They'd been abandoned for years and boards to secure windows or doorways would fall off because they weren't maintained and so you didn't have to break in. A lot of the offshore companies who owned the buildings employed contractors to look after the buildings. The contractors just took the money and didn't look after the buildings so they were easy to get in. Also it wasn't in the contractors interests to tell the owners the buildings they were paid to look after were squats.
 

PoochJD

Well-known Member
Hi,

I have to agree with several people in this thread, that this new "idea" from our beloved government, seems to be yet another badly-though-out "law", that is as limp as it sounds. (It seems to me, to be another "easy target" piece of legislation. The government have gone after the elderly, the disabled, the young, the Benefit Claimants, the unemployed, so now they're going for other easy targets such as squatters, the homeless, etc, etc.)

FWIW, I do think squatters should have some rights. I hate the fact that there are lots and lots of buildings that could be turned into accommodation for people, which are just sitting there, decaying and decomposing for months or years on end, because the original owner doesn't seem to care about it, and seems to think that it's acceptable for it to remain unused for such a long period of time.

With that said, that is not the same as another AVF member mentioned, where a property was left vacant, whilst they sorted out the legal matters after a relative had passed away. In that instance, I would have thought that the police would have prosecuted anyone who attempted to enter such a residence.

However, there are plenty of residential houses and buildings that are left lying dormant, and it is those that I think the law should have the right to take off of people's hands if they don't do something with it, after, say five years. If you don't want the property, sell it. Better to get some money for it, than no money at all, and leave it decaying for months or years at a time. Moreso, when people are crying out for accomodation.


Pooch
 
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Dancook

Distinguished Member
My parents rent a second property which covered the mortgage payments, after about 6-12 months the tenant refused to pay or leave and it took months to get them out. They stayed there as 'squatters' for that period.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
However, there are plenty of residential houses and buildings that are left lying dormant, and it is those that I think the law should have the right to take off of people's hands if they don't do something with it, after, say five years. If you don't want the property, sell it. Better to get some money for it, than no money at all, and leave it decaying for months or years at a time. Moreso, when people are crying out for accomodation.


Pooch
Those laws already exist, Local Authorities have the powers to entice owners to bring their properties up to scratch (with grants etc), or place an Empty Dwelling Management Order on it and take over the management themselves, or slap a Compulsory Purchase Order on it and buy it outright.
 

Mr_Wistles

Distinguished Member
My parents rent a second property which covered the mortgage payments, after about 6-12 months the tenant refused to pay or leave and it took months to get them out. They stayed there as 'squatters' for that period.
My friend had the same experience. Took him 10 months to get them out. During that time the boiler broke and he was obligated by law to fix it otherwise he would get in trouble. Utter madness.
 

Doug the D

Member
My opinion on this is that if someone (I don't care how rich) wants to buy a property and leave it unattended, then that, (as the owner of said property) is completely their prerogative. Why is it deemed acceptable that squatters should have the 'right' to go into a building which belongs to someone else then refuse to leave when told? If you don't own something, you should have no 'right' to use it at all (without the owners permission).
I'm not saying that if you are homeless that you should not take shelter in abandoned buildings to keep you safe from the elements, this is a basic human right that we should have. But if you are asked to leave by the owners of the building at any time, you should just say 'ok, fine, thank you for letting me use your building without your prior permission, I'll not slam the door on my way out'.
Our society is sometimes odd. We have people who believe in 'squatters rights' yet when all is said and done, would they still champion the rights of squatters if they found them in their property. Of course not.
 

dc8900

Distinguished Member
My opinion on this is that if someone (I don't care how rich) wants to buy a property and leave it unattended, then that, (as the owner of said property) is completely their prerogative. Why is it deemed acceptable that squatters should have the 'right' to go into a building which belongs to someone else then refuse to leave when told? If you don't own something, you should have no 'right' to use it at all (without the owners permission).
+1,

Be it a house that is owned a by a billionaire and is worth £15 million or a nurse who was just able to scrape the funds to buy a £150,000 flat, that property is theirs and no one should have the right to break in and say 'home sweet home', this change in the law has been long overdue.
 

Doug the D

Member
+1,

Be it a house that is owned a by a billionaire and is worth £15 million or a nurse who was just able to scrape the funds to buy a £150,000 flat, that property is theirs and no one should have the right to break in and say 'home sweet home', this change in the law has been long overdue.
I was very careful not to use the phrase 'break in', as no doubt someone with lets say 'more liberal' views is probably typing out 'but they don't break in, they walk in through badly maintained window coverings/ doors' or some such drivel as I'm typing this!

+1
 

Redline

Member
Squatters should have no rights. The people who voted that they should have rights, i bet they would change their mind if they moved into their property.
 

NorvernRob

Distinguished Member
I was very careful not to use the phrase 'break in', as no doubt someone with lets say 'more liberal' views is probably typing out 'but they don't break in, they walk in through badly maintained window coverings/ doors' or some such drivel as I'm typing this!

+1
I'd be pretty sure that those door and window boards get a little help 'falling off' in 99% of cases.

If anyone claimed 'squatters rights' in a property of mine (fat chance as I only have 1) I wouldn't phone the police, they'd just be 'persuaded to leave'.
 

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