Duncan Lewis


Asylum, Detention/ Fast Track

Managed Migration, Public Law

Squatting to become a criminal offence from September 1, 2012, punishable up to six months in prison and £5,000 fine

Date: (15 May 2012)    |    

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From 1st September 2012 a new law would make ‘squatting’ a criminal offence with squatter’s facing up to £5,000 fine and a six-month prison sentence.
Landlords were "relieved" that squatting was soon to become a criminal offence in the UK. In a statement issued by the Landlord Syndicate this week, the support centre welcomed the news that squatters were liable to criminal prosecution.
One of the members of The Landlord Syndicate who had been fighting for some time to enforce this law, even supporting a campaign presented to Parliament in April 2011, is Paul Shamplina, also founder of Landlord Action.
Paul commented that squatting cases were on rise for some time with many organised gangs travelling thousands of miles to engage in squatting knowing that they were protected by the law.
Only in recent times when there were some high profile cases hit the headlines that people sat up and took notice of the growing injustice on homeowners.
In light of this news, The Landlord Syndicate have warned landlords not to be complacent as they said enforcing a law did not mean that squatting activity was going to end and would be eradicated completely.
It just meant that there were tougher measures to deal with it, giving respite to the landlords and homeowners from protracted and expensive legal battles Paul added.
That means landlords still needed to avoid void periods and ensure they invested in good preventative security measures.