The national press seems to be starting a campaign to raise awareness about squatters and the ‘professional agencies’ that market empty homes to them.
Both the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph recently ran further reports about squatters and their so called ‘rights’. The Daily Mail revealed that there are more and more agencies cropping up in back street locations, offering properties available to squat.
The Mail also reported that the Advisory Service for Squatters (ASS) has a listing on its website for a handyman – not, as real professional agents would mean, to help with any little jobs when you move in, but a clever little chap who’ll break into an empty house for you and then cover up his handiwork to hide the crucial evidence of breaking and entering.
On Sunday 6th March squatters from ‘far and wide’ were invited to the “Squat-tastic III Strategy convergence”:
“Calling all squatters from far and wide. We need to get talking, plotting and step it up. Bring food to share and big imaginations. Starting at 2pm this event is a chance for everyone to meet, start plotting and take action in response to the current ‘rumours’ that the Con-Dem-coalition want to strengthen trespass laws.
"Dinner at 7pm, followed by inspiring film projections. Colorama 52 Lancaster Street, LONDON, SE1 ORY.”
Incredibly, aside from the breaking and entering part, which is very difficult to prove as the squatters have to be caught in the act, none of this is illegal.
In its handbook, the ASS say that police can only make an arrest ‘if there were witnesses’, and the ‘ASS know the law better than most owners or their solicitors, and better than many judges’.
In other words, they know every loophole in the book.
The Daily Telegraph said on Saturday, “We have highlighted the growing injustice being done to homeowners by squatters, and in particular by the way in which the current laws enable them to move into someone else’s house, cause damage to it, and then – once the owner finally manages to persuade the courts to take action to protect his elementary right to live in his own house – move on to another victim. We do not claim that squatting is a colossal social problem. But we do claim that it is one of the rare cases of a wrong that can be remedied quickly, and that the Government ought to take the straightforward step that would do so."
If you do have an issue with squatters then click here for some straight forward advice on how you may be able to remove them from your property without the need of a solicitor.
If you are concerned and feel your home may not be as secure as it could be then Conran Estates have negotiated a 10% discount at The Blackheath Locksmiths Company if you quote "Conran Estates". Please contact them for advice on 020 8852 1222 or visit them at 34 Blackheath Village.