Squatting

Discussion in 'Politics & The Economy' started by Pocket, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. Pocket

    Pocket
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    Can someone please tell me more about 'squatting'. I thought, no matter what, it is illegal to occupy/ move into someone else's home. Isn't it the same as breaking and entering? Why can it take months to legally remove these unwanted elements if you are the home owner? Surely since it is your property and these people break in then you have the right to remove them (with force if necessary).
    Can someone explain this issue? I feel I am missing something.
     
  2. Shipley

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    Not a legal expert so happy to be corrected, but as I understand it, under the old law, as long as you did not physically break into a residential property, eg entered through an open window, you could claim squatters rights.

    This meant it was a civil rather than a criminal matter, and as such the police and homeowner were powerless to remove the squatters until a civil eviction order had been obtained.

    Crazy, hence the reason for the new law which is well overdue.Squatters are just another form of freeloading parasite, unwilling to work and get their own property.
     
  3. tapzilla2k

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    The new law does not cover non residential properties (you can still claim squatters rights in those), just residential properties are covered.
    Squatters convicted under the new law face a 6 month prison sentence (at taxpayer expense) and/or a £5,000 fine.
    BBC News - Q&A: Squatting laws

    It remains to be seen if the new laws will actually work in practise, no doubt they will be challenged under Human Rights Laws at some point.
     
  4. Pocket

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    I am just completely dumb struck by how long it has taken to introduce this law; actually, I am more shocked a law needs to be introduced for this matter. I thought it would have been common sense in the 21st century for the Police to operate on such values to remove squatters.
     
  5. Phil57

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    Please don't misunderstand me, I by no means support squatters.
    But squatters generally DO NOT occupy peoples HOMES, they generally occupy properties that are unoccupied.
     
  6. Shipley

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    Actually that is not true; there are many cases of peoples homes being taken over while they are out and return to find these scumbags having changed the locks and claimed squatters rights. This has been the main driver of the new law.
     
  7. IronGiant

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    I don't think it's the main drive at all, those cases are in the minority, but no doubt the small number of people who return home from holiday to discover their keys don't work will welcome it :smashin:
     
  8. Bl4ckGryph0n

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    It is good and about time. Nobody should have rights when they steal property that clearly belongs to someone else.

    What was next, my second car can just be taken or the boat I don't use during the week etc.

    Shame it had to come to this due to a small but persistent group of useless scumbags. Always amazes me how they knew their "rights" yet don't use that intelligence to actually do something for themselves and get their own home without stealing someone else's.
     
  9. la gran siete

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    whilst i agree with the law in principle ,I fully understand squatters wanting to occupy properties which have been left empty for months, even years.We are talking about people who are to all intents purposes homeless so maybe local authorities should ensure they are properly housed.I do NOT want to see an increase in people forced to live on the streets and having to rely on begging to survive
     
  10. Bl4ckGryph0n

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    Well luckily in the UK that would be a choice and not a necessity, so it won't come to that...bad bad tories...:cool:
     
  11. Shipley

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  12. Bl4ckGryph0n

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    Well exactly, there is a point but allowing people to steal other peoples property is not the answer.

    What's next second cars parked unused on your driveway can be used by those not willing to work hard and pay for their own? To me that author is a populist idiot.
     
  13. Shipley

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    Who isn't even popular among Guardian readers, looking at the related comments :laugh:
     
  14. Trollslayer

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    Travellers on someone's land = bad, squatters in somemone's home = good?
    Just throwing a bit petrol on the flames.
     
  15. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    the person who wrote that doesnt actually work for the Guardian, he just submitted a column which the paper agreed to publish.You can either agree or disagree with him but at least the paper gave him the opportunity to express his views which is more than the likes of the Torygraph or the ghastly Daily Mail would do.
    If the figure of 930000 empty homes is correct then that is a national disgrace:thumbsdow
     
  16. karkus30

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    I would like to see some proper figures on this.

    Is it all areas of the country or predominately in the ultra rich Capital.

    Funny I was just thinking today how London was quickly becoming like Rome during the decline of the Empire. They even built a coliseum with games. Rome became the centre for everything as the outer districts gradually got poorer, not exactly dissimilar to today.

    Anyway. Are the Squatters employed, immigrants, rich ?

    Where are the 930 000 houses, are they owned, derelict, second homes, due for demolition. .....what?

    The details are just so sketchy. We might have that many houses condemned around the sink estates of the NE NW Wales, Hull, Sheffield. Would surprise me because no one dare live there.
     
  17. Bl4ckGryph0n

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    Crisis was on LBC97.3 this morning confirming and agreeing with the housing minister that there are plenty of hostel places available, no individual has to be homeless. A charity like that would have reliable first hand experience imo...
     
  18. krish

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    If you click on his name (Joseph Blake | The Guardian) that's his only submission to CiF and his profile is:
    so he's doing his job as a spin doctor ... I wonder how much he earns from it
     
  19. Trollslayer

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    There was a bit about this on the local news (Bristol) and a couple of squatters were students with nice clean clothes who decided they shouldn't have to pay for accomodation.
    Not down and outs but the 'entitled'.
     
  20. karkus30

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    I have read a bit more on this subject and it throws up some interesting things. What we might be seeing here is a version of what happened in the great depression. Back then farmers and manufacturers took big loans to buy capital equipment. They became over capitalised and couldn't pay back the loans which started the banks going bust.

    What we have is a similar situation. Property is now over valued but interest rates remain low, no one is buying and the market has stagnated. as the recession has bitten it has left both commercial properties empty ( these are the ones that get occupied mostly ) and residential properties that belong to investors who no longer have the finance or confidence to put on the market at this time. Further there is a lot of local authority mixed property about.

    These squatters are actually low paid, tax paying workers, but as wages have fallen, inflation has driven up the cost of essentials and the housing market prices have remained static. This means they are unable to afford accommodation but wish to live independently.

    This is an interesting situation because it suggests that this recession is simply a recession of illusion. In other words the country was in a serious state before the housing bubble burst, but the bubble disguised it. If that is true, then we are simply buying time with QE in a sense it's simply a delay fuse for something far worse. Instead of a sudden crash the country is on a sort of sedative which creates the illusion of all being fairly stable if a bit flat. The result will be the slow march of a greater and greater number of low paid being unable to pay for homes or high rental which is why the Government have realised they are going to have serious problems without low cost housing.

    But it's catch 22 because we don't have the tax receipts to fund Government spending except by constantly inflating the money supply to cover the loan, but that looks like we have reached the bottom of the barrel because public spending isn't moving, prices are still moving upwards but public spending isn't catching them. Most people have few savings and had been depending on credit, that means the recovery cannot be driven by consumer spending, that is finished. What's more increasing taxes or increasing the money supply will now only make prices more expensive and shift buyers onto cheaper goods and foods which will reduce choice as manufacturers of these products have to withdraw luxury and high brand lines or reduce costs by downsizing the workforce.

    Ultimately we cannot close the deficit gap either. I think Cameron spent the money because he knows the game is up and is hoping for a miracle. It's like a company that looks good from the outside but is really bankrupt because of serious negative cash-flow. Eventually they begin to default and this is what is going to happen with the UK economy. We will default and the real situation exposed.

    I think it's high time we let the economy adjust and let interest rates rise by withdrawing all the QE and that would drop house prices. Those owning investment properties would see the collapse and be forced to sell quickly to avoid the bottom swing of the price curve. It would force many to default, those that have only had houses for less than 10 years should be allowed to default with no penalty and their paid up money returned to them.. This would mean they could get back on the housing ladder at a later time when prices had stabilised. Rental properties would also have to fall in line and become more competitive to cope with the downward fall of house prices.

    If we don't act, then we will be in a gradually worsening situation like a big whale rolling over onto its belly. Eventually it is unsustainable. It's likely that taking QE out of the system would also kill the stock market and mean that those with money would no longer have a safe haven. It's risky, but they may decide to go back to good, old fashioned private financing of innovation as they once did in the 19th. I think it might be a sign of an economic change like the change from agriculture to industrial. Maybe we need to start serious investment in life sciences and other innovations and invest money into educating people to move into those industries. We must have other services that we haven't explored fully that could have private investment. The banks can still play a part in it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
  21. Bl4ckGryph0n

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    I don't believe for one moment we are anywhere near that point, and listening to the housing minister directly in an interview this is purely and simply an adjustment of the law in England (Scotland had this for year already) for situations where people can't just 'steal' someone elses property by using the silly loop hole that allowed them to claim squatters rights and then fight for weeks/months through the civil courts to try and get them evicted. It has merely clarified the law such that it now is a criminal offence and thus the police can act immediately and the home owner can get back in their house following their return from holiday. it is that simple.
     
  22. Shipley

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    Well, that's probably because the readers of the Telegraph and Mail are older than 15, and have grown out of the infantile student politics a long time ago.

    He has indeed expressed his views, but I'm not sure he should be grateful to them for exposing him as a complete t**t.
     
  23. krish

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    ^^^ Nope the DM is mainly for the celebrity obsessed, and is the home of many Glenda Slaggs
     
  24. karkus30

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    From what I read none of them are squatting in people's homes, just abandoned local authority housing and commercial buildings.

    The Government has announced a building programme for tens of thousands of homes I just heard on the news. They will sell off the LA property to partially finance it. Of course that means more tax payer spend and no doubt the profits going to wimpy or some other Government tame builder. I think we definitely have a crisis in the wings and that law was simply part of the overall move towards the tax funded programme.

    Yes, this is the Government of low spending, low taxation now gone back to building council houses for all intents and purposes.
     
  25. Bl4ckGryph0n

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    What you read, and what I and others have experienced :smashin:
     
  26. karkus30

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    Want to expand ? I'm just reading the blurb, granted its slanted but hell what isn't ? I don't think we would get squatters occupying our homes if we went on holiday and the reality is that it is considered a crime anyway and would be dealt with as such. What we have with squatters is something slightly different, everyone has a right to shelter. This is definitely a grey area, unless you have some other facts. My take, if it's state property, county council owned or Government owned and rented etc then it's free for squatting and is better in use than out of use, that changes if it's private property that is squatted in.
     
  27. Bl4ckGryph0n

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    1. Yes it does happen, it happens a lot, and if it isn't a holiday it is a renovation project etc...
    2. Well since today it is considered a crime, beforehand it wasn't ;) That is why it is news now.
    3. Not anymore, it was a grey area and a primarily treated as a civil matter hence not a crime. The law that has come in has clarified it.

    It is almost like we are talking about something totally different, have you actually listened to the news recently ;)
     
  28. karkus30

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    Oh I see, a proper crime. Didn't know this happened a lot because up int North we don't have that problem and the blurb I read suggested that the vast majority were not doing this in private homes. I bow to your experience. If its private homes they should be thrown out. I don't agree with it being a blanket law. If its state owned property which has not been lived in for some time then that's fine.

    I'm getting tired I had a bad night.
     
  29. Shipley

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    Agreed. It also happens with holiday or second homes, with the squatters rationale/justification being that people should not own second homes and leave them empty, when there are homeless people on the streets.

    As it happens, I only own one house, but If I had enough money to buy 100 and leave 99 empty, that would be my prerogative. I am not responsible for making anyone homeless, and I am equally not responsible for giving them a home - particularly when they want it for free.
     
  30. EarthRod

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    It doesn't matter who owns the property (state owned or not, empty or not) and it is not 'free' for squatting.

    You've established in other posts that nothing is free yet here you are saying property is free for squatting.

    You don't honestly think squatters treat the house with respect? They trash the place and in a short period of time. The property is not theirs so when it gets cold they rip out the skirting boards and kitchen units and make a fire. If there is no fireplace the fire is in the centre of the room. Do they clean the toilets? I won't go into that aspect.

    Squatters have no respect, they don't care. Why should they? It costs thousands to repair a property that's been trashed by squatters - and you say it's free?

    A proportion of the council tax pays for the repairs to damaged council properties - do you pay council tax?
     

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