Squatting to become a criminal offence
Squatting will become a criminal offence at the start of September after legislation to protect homeowners was passed by Parliament.
Under the change, squatters will face up to six months in jail and a maximum £5,000 fine if they move into a homeowners' property. It will be the first time that squatting has become a crime and follows a spate of cases in which residents have returned to find their homes occupied, and often damaged, by intruders who refuse to leave.
As well as making squatting a crime, the new legislation contains other changes intended to make easier for homeowners to prove that their home is being occupied unlawfully.
As it stands, commercial property owners are still at high risk. Where buildings are out of use, preventative methods are key to protect and maintain the site.Back