Squatting becomes a criminal offence
Friday 4th May 2012
Squatting in residential properties is to become a criminal offence in Britain, after the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill received Royal Assent this week.
As from September 1, squatting will become a criminal offence, meaning that perpetrators will face up to six months in jail and a maximum £5,000 fine if they move into a home owner’s property.
However, owners of empty property should still take certain steps, including always informing their insurers when the property becomes vacant.
Owners where the property is likely to remain unoccupied for longer than a few weeks should also be advised to shut down power and gas supplies, drain water systems, and install a letter box seal, partly to prevent the possibility of arson and partly to prevent a build-up of mail.
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